Ajmal Kasab: 4-year wait comes to an end
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The family of Tukaram Omble, who died while helping apprehend Ajmal Kasab alive, was ecstatic at the news of his execution. "There can be no words to describe the happiness I felt," says Eknath, Omble's uncle.
An assistant sub-inspector (ASI) with DB Marg police, Omble apprehended the Skoda that Kasab and Abu Ismail had snatched and were travelling in. When Kasab started firing, Omble grabbed the barrel of the gun and took the bullets. He collapsed but did not let go of Kasab and the gun. That gave others in the team, who had already shot Khan, time to overpower and capture Kasab. Omble died while being rushed to the hospital.
"I have dreamt of this day for four years," says Omble's uncle. He says Tukaram's sacrifice instilled a renewed sense of patriotism in his family. "Terrorists should always be dealt with strongly, so that we can send a message on what happens to people who dare commit such acts on Indian soil. That message has been sent out today."
He says 26/11 concerned more than one man. "But Kasab's hanging is also a tribute to all the martyrs of the terrorist act."
Smita Salaskar knocked on her daughter Divya's bedroom door in the morning and broke the news. As mother and daughter surfed news channels, every "tiny detail" brought recollections of the night when Vijay Salaskar, Divya's father, had been killed behind Cama Hospital in an encounter with Ajmal Kasab and an accomplice.
"I was super thrilled," says Divya. "I had been counting the days since that night. I have waited to hear this news. Today is 1,461 days since my father died a martyr."
The suddenness of the execution did get to them, she agreed.
"Imagine, as mother and daughter our conversations over the last four years have mostly revolved around this," Divya says. "As a daughter I might still move on, but I look at my mother: she lost a beautiful person, her husband and she will have to live with that," says Divya, who last year was appointed assistant commissioner of sales tax by the government.