It was a decision that proved fatal to Mumbai's top cops on 26/11. ATS Chief Hemant karkare and his colleagues Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar entered the Cama Hospital and ran into the terrorists. In the encounter that ensued, All three died. The Pradhan Commission confirmed the policemen had no idea the terrorists were already at the hospital.
Three deceased senior Mumbai police officers took a sudden decision to enter Cama hospital from its front side, not knowing they would come face-to-face with terrorists during the 26/11 attacks, the Ram Pradhan Commission has found.
It was purely a sudden decision of Anti-Terrorist Squad chief, Hemant Karkare, Additional Commissioner of Police, Ashok Kamte and Police Inspector, Vijay Salaskar and three other colleagues, to go from the front side of Cama hospital, leading to an encounter with terrorists coming from opposite direction, the report said quoting an eyewitness.
The three police officers were obviously unaware that the terrorists had already left Cama and were in the same lane when they were moving towards the site, according to constable Arun Jadhav, who survived the attack.
The three officers, after learning through wireless that their colleague Additional Commissioner of Police, Sadanand Date, sustained injuries, decided to enter the lane leading towards Rang Bhawan with an intention to enter the Cama hospital from the front gate.
The trio had left their vehicles near CST railway station and took a Qualis jeep in which Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Pydhonie Shantilal Bhambre had arrived. Accompanied by ASI driver Balasaheb Bhosale, PC Jaywant Patil and PC operator Yogesh Patil drove towards Mahapalika Marg via Tayyabji Marg and Rang Bhawan without communicating with Mr. Bhambre, the panel said.
Mr. Jadhav and Mr. Jayawant Patil also joined them and thus they faced terrorists who were moving on the same lane from opposite direction. In the subsequent exchange of fire, the officers and the three policemen were killed, the report said.
Mr. Jadhav, the lone survivor, corroborated that the decision to go by Qualis to intercept the terrorists from the opposite direction from the front side of Cama Hospital entrance was sudden.
They did not know that terrorists will take the same route. Within a few metres of their entrance in the lane, they were ambushed by the attackers who were hiding in front of Corporation Bank ATM.
The terrorists, after killing the policemen and officers, took over the Qualis, drove towards Metro Junction, firing and killing police constable Arun Chittee. Finally they abandoned the Qualis near the Council Hall, the report said.