26 November 2008, Mumbai
The terrorists had wreaked havoc in the nation’s economic capital. Horrifying pictures were coming out of Mumbai at every moment. The dream city witnessed a murderous dance of violence. Meanwhile, unknown assailants near Cama Hospital shot indiscriminately at three of the most famous Mumbai Police officers. These officers were Hemant Karkare, the then chief of the Mumbai ATS, Additional Commissioner of Mumbai Police Ashok Kamte and Inspector Vijay Salaskar, considered as an encounter specialist.
However late in the night, news came from Girgaum Chowpatty, which not only provides a sigh of relief to innumerable countrymen, but also demolishes a well-planned propaganda. A terrorist is caught alive in police action, and is immediately transferred to police custody. But the fearless policeman, who had caught the terrorist named Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab, unfortunately fell prey to a barrage of bullets fired from his gun, and soon embraced martyrdom.
If this braveheart had not been there, not only would 26/11 have been given a communal colour, but nobody would have imagined the insult meted to followers of Sanatan Dharma for countless years, citing it as an example of Hindu terrorism. Today, on the 11th anniversary of 26/11, we are talking about the heroic ASI Tukaram G Omble, who not only caught Ajmal Kasab alive, but also demolished a possible plan to promote ‘Hindu terrorism’ through 26/11.
Born in 1954 in Satara district, Tukaram Omble was patriotic to the core. That is why he enlisted himself in the Indian Army and served the Signal Corps. He took retirement as a Naik prematurely in 1991, but the patriotic spirit didn’t wane. He joined the Mumbai Police as a constable with immediate effect, and by 2008 he was promoted to the post of Assistant Sub Inspector.
However, November 2008 it was no less than an acid test for him. It was common in India to hear of a terrorist attack every week. The terrorists ruled the roost, and the administration looked completely inactive except while blaming each other. Meanwhile, news surfaced that 10 terrorists had held Mumbai to ransom. Be it CST, Taj Hotel, Oberoi Hotel, or even Nariman Point, terrorists were wreaking havoc almost everywhere. At that time, Tukaram Omble was monitoring the blockade at Girgaum Chowpatty.
News came that some unknown attackers had hijacked a silver Skoda and were heading towards his area. Within moments, a silver Skoda was actually approaching the police squad. Due to initial reports of the attack, the police stationed there had kept a strict barricading. In such a situation, when the car started approached them, they indicated to stop it.
However, the car took a violent turn from there, on which the Mumbai police started firing rapidly. One of the terrorists Ismail, who was seated on the driver’s seat, was killed on the spot, while Ajmal Kasab miraculously survived the volley of bullets and pretended to be dead. After the firing subsided, a police squad led by Tukaram Omble attempted to inspect the vehicle.
At that time, ASI Tukaram had just his baton in his hand. But as soon as he opened the car door, he found something suspicious in the ‘dead’ terrorist Kasab. Before Ajmal Kasab could attack anyone else, Tukaram caught hold of Kasab, so that his AK 47 could not target anyone but Tukaram. Kasab sprayed a volley of bullets to get rid of him, but Tukaram did not let go of the terrorist’s gun. Due to the bravery of his fellow police officer, the rest of the police personnel lost their temper and they started hurling sticks at Ajmal Kasab, and finally caught hold of him. However, Tukaram was seriously injured due to the innumerable bullets, and died on the way to the hospital. ASI Tukaram Omble was posthumously awarded the highest gallantry award of the peacetime, i.e. Ashoka Chakra for his valour.
It was the same Ajmal Kasab who had massacred innumerable innocents at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station, and who, along with Ismail, shot top cops Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar dead. Interestingly, in this shootout, Kasab started the attack first, on which Ashok Kamte successfully fired on his hand in retaliation. Seeing this, Ismail lost his temper and fired indiscriminately at the police car, in which all the police officials except Assistant Inspector Arun Jadhav received Virgati.
This was also the time when the UPA government was in power, and they started spreading the lies of Hindu terrorism after the Malegaon attacks. According to WikiLeaks, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said in a conversation with American diplomats that he felt Hindu terrorism as more dangerous than Islamic terror.
Not only this, endorsing the book titled ‘RSS ki Saajish: 26/11’, Congress leader Digvijay Singh and film personality Mahesh Bhatt attempted to label 26/11 as the conspiracy of RSS, and refuted the role of Pakistan, but Kasab’s arrest weakened their position. Perhaps this is why the terrorist’s commander instructed Ajmal Kasab and others to wear a red Kalava on their hands, which followers of Sanatana Dharma usually wear on auspicious occasions.
Now imagine what would have happened if Tukaram Omble had not caught Kasab? Not only would the Congress have espoused the imaginary theory of Hindu terrorism, but the blame of every subsequent terrorist attack would have been pinned on the RSS, or Hindu organisations in general. For many years, every follower of Sanatan Dharma would’ve been humiliated every moment and for many years Sanatanis would have to bear this false stigma. Even today, we are extremely grateful to ASI Tukaram Omble, not only because he caught Kasab alive, but also because he demolished a devious plan to promote the nonsensical theory of Hindu terrorism by catching Kasab alive.