Catching alive a terrorist on a suicide mission is almost impossible. The Maharashtra Police have to thank Assistant Sub-Inspector Tukaram Gopal Omble, 48, for that.
Ajmal Ameer Kasab, the Pakistani-born terrorist, was arrested because Omble, a beat marshal in Girgaum Chowpatty, held onto the terrorist’s gun and let his body get riddled by the bullets.
When the two terrorists, Kasab and Abu Dera Ismail Khan, sped off in a Skoda Laura after abandoning the police vehicle they carjacked after killing senior police officers, the police team at Girgaum Chowpaty had got the message.
Assistant Police Inspector Hemant Bavdhankar of D B Nagar Police station said: “Moments later, we saw a car matching the description (in the message) slowing down at a distance of around 50 feet from us. As the vehicle tried to take a U-turn, it hit the divider.”
The terrorists turned on the lights full beam and the wipers, squirting water on the windshield to hide their faces. Told by police to step out with hands up, Kasab obeyed but hid his gun. When he started firing, Omble grabbed the barrel of the gun. Kasab kept firing and Omble 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 Kasab.
The D B Marg police station now displays Omble’s photograph. His colleagues remember the soft-spoken man who never raised his voice. Senior Police Inspector Nagappa Mali said: “Omble was very disciplined and would never be late for duty.” Omble, who used to stay in Worli with his wife and daughters, joined the force in 1978, was a havaldar by the time he joined D B Marg police station and was made an ASI three months ago.