Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil has directed the police to probe the case of the “missing” bulletproof vest of Anti-Terror Squad chief Hemant Karkare, who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks.

“Patil has taken a serious view of the issue (of missing jacket) and asked crime branch to look into it,” an aide of the Home Minister said.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said it was “shoddy” of the Mumbai Police to have not been able to locate the bulletproof vest worn by Karkare when he was fatally shot and added that he was sorry for the lapse.

Karkare was killed on the night of 26/11 near Cama Hospital along with Additional Police Commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

Karkare’s widow Kavita had said she filed an application under the Right to Information Act to locate the jacket but was told it was not traceable.

There have been allegations that the bulletproof vest worn by Karkare at the time of his death was defective.