Setting at rest the controversy that slain Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare died because of defective bullet-proof jacket, the post mortem report has revealed that he received five bullets in and around his neck.
All the five bullets pierced his body in the region which was not covered by the bullet-proof vest, the post mortem report said.
He received "total five firearms wounds of entry on shoulder blade, top region between neck and right shoulder, four entry wounds in one line," the report said.
A Public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court had alleged that Karkare died because bullets had pierced his bullet-proof jacket. However, the post mortem reports negate this claim made by the PIL.
The PIL also pointed out that in accordance with specifications laid down for bullet-proof vests, the portion of the body from the neck till waist should be covered. In the present case, the bullet-proof jacket worn by Karkare had only his chest covered while the neck portion was open.
The post mortem report further revealed that he received one bullet in the neck and the other four were in a line entering from shoulder and exiting from arm pit.
This gives strength to the police theory that captured gunman Ajmal Kasab, seated next to his accomplice Abu Ismael in police jeep, had fired the four shots in quick succession at Karkare to make sure that he died after discovering that the police officer was wearing a bullet proof jacket.
Kasab and Ismael had fired at the police jeep carrying Karkare, another IPS officer Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar near Cama hospital on 26/11, killing them on the spot. Their bodies were thrown out by the two terrorists who escaped in the police jeep.
Before escaping in the jeep, Kasab had shot at Karkare from his seat because the four bullets in a line indicate that someone had shot at the police officer from a height.
As regards the claim of Kavita Karkare, widow of the slain police officer, that the bullet proof jacket of her husband was missing, efforts made by the authorities to trace it have come to a naught.
While the police say it could have been disposed of by the staff of J J Hospital where Karkare was taken for the post mortem, the hospital authorities said they are not aware about the jacket as dozens of killed and injured were brought there during the attacks. PTI