Karkare was a man of action

Martyred ATS Chief's family and Police Officials in his funeral (File Photo)
Rafiq Lasne

Post 1993 Riots in Mumbai, the trust factor between Muslims and Mumbai Police was at its lowest. So much so that many in the community, when talking about the blasts that took place in the city on 12th Mar 1993, would secretly say, “Blasts nahin hona chaahiye thhey, lekin aisa nahin hota toh Musalmaanon ko aur bohot dinon tak dabkar rehna padta. Police bhi toh apna nahin sunti (Blasts should not have been done. Neverthless, if that did not happen Muslims had to get suppressed for a longer period. Police too did not heed us.)“. Police lost its connect with all the khabris in the Muslim localities. The criminally inclined found Muslim ghettos safe to hide. Soon, the Muslims became aliens to be feared. The emergence of Osama, the twin towers, the many blasts worldwide including India, the Mumbai train blasts, every single event furthered this divide.

Hemant Karkare in his Police Uniform (File Photo)

After the Mumbai train blasts, Mira Road, a pre-dominantly Muslim locality came under suspicion. The locality is attached to Mumbai. The property prices were far lower compared to the main city. Rent was minimal. Drug peddlers and other criminals found it perfect to carry out their nefarious designs. The coming together of the police and the residents of Mira Road was essential to keep the criminals at bay.

It is at this juncture that a police officer took the lead to break the logjam between the Muslim community and the police. The name of the officer was Karkare.

Police Officials and Commoners in Hemant Karkare’s Shav Yatra

Karkare convinced the Muslim women to carry out searches within the locality and help the police if and when they found any suspicious activity near them. The Muslim women went door to door convincing people not to sell or rent their flats to anyone without proper identification. Anyone without a family or a known source of income came under further scrutiny. The police found it easier to enter the locality and nab a few criminals with the help of the information provided by the locals. Mira Road became a dangerous place for the criminally inclined.

Today Mira Road is as good or as bad as any other locality. The Real Estate prices are no more affordable and criminals do not consider it safe anymore. The locality has the best of schools, hospitals, and people belonging to all religions stay in close proximity to each other. It has a fine infrastructure and Mira Road continues to develop further.

Karkare was a man of action. He was a leader. He reversed the process of almost complete divide that was taking place between the Muslims and the police. All those dimwits who are spewing poison against the man should be ashamed of themselves. He was a true Indian hero… a true son of the soil.

(Rafiq Lasne is a Mumbaiker and associated with film production. Taken from his FB post.)

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