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Malegaon set to rename street where blast took place after slain ATS Chief

Hindustan Times, December 2, 2008

Zeeshan Shaikh


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Malegaon over the years may have cultivated an image of being a town having strong antipathy towards the police force. But in a moving gesture citizens of the city have now decided to rename the street where a blast on September 9 killed five people after slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was shot down by terrorists on November 26.

In a unanimous decision all members of the Malegaon Municipal Corporation have decided to rename the 500-meter lane starting from Bhikhu Chowk, where the blast occurred, till Nehru Chowk as Shaheed Hemant Karkare Road.

"This dedication is a public reminder of the sacrifice Hemant Karkare made. It is a tribute to him and our way of saying that citizens of Malegaon will never forget him," Malegaon's mayor Shaikh Najmuddin Gulsher told HT.

The decision to rename the street will finally be ratified during the Municipal Corporations next general body meeting on December 18. Karkare, may have faced flak from political quarters for arresting Hindu fundamentalist in the blast case but people in Malegaon treated him as hero and he had overnight turned into the cynosure of all eyes in the city.

"He was a man of integrity. The day he visited the blast site he gauged the residents anguish and had given orders to his officers in carrying out a fair investigation and in looking beyond the usual suspects," Aleem Faizee a local journalist said.

Many residents looked upto Karkare as a fair and courageous officer. Karkare's treatment to residents of Malegaon had gone a long way in soothing the city's residents who have been plagued with riots and bomb blasts in recent years and have been fighting alienation.

His popularity was also evident after a contingent from Malegaon specaially went down to Mumbai for Karkare's funeral. The contingent also met Karkare's family and offered their condolence.

 (Courtesy: Hindustan Times)

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