Assistant police sub-inspector Tukaram Omble was hailed as a hero for holding death in tight embrace during 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, but the honour bestowed on him is little solace to his family members who wants his killer Ajmal Kasab hanged.
Omble, who was courage personified as he grappled unarmed with the AK-47-wielding Kasab at Girgaum Chowpatty, made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty but not before he had ensured the capture of at least one of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who were on their diabolic mission.
Three days before the anti-terror court pronounces its verdict, 23-year-old Vaishali Omble, daughter of the slain policeman, told PTI that her family will never forgive Kasab, who altered their lives forever.
"These honours do not delight us. I, my family and people of India want Kasab hanged. This is what matters to us," she said looking at the Ashok Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award given posthumously to her father for his exemplary valour.
Vaishali, presently pursuing Masters of Education, said unlike Afzal Guru's case, she hoped the government would not delay Kasab's execution of punishment if he is held guilty.
"I am still to come to terms with the fact that my father is no more. He may not be with us but we feel his presence all the time. On that fateful night when I phoned him, he said he was fine and asked me not to worry," she said.
Around 12.45 am on the intervening night of November 26-27, Omble got an alert on his walkie-talkie that two terrorists had hijacked a Skoda car and were heading for Girgaum Chowpatty.
As the vehicle rammed into a road divider at Chowpatty, Omble dashed towards Kasab after he got down from the car and gripped the barrel of his assault rifle with both hands. With his weapon pointed at Omble, Kasab pulled the trigger pumping bullets into his stomach, but the brave officer held on to the gun till his death.
50-year-old Omble took several bullets in the process but it enabled his colleagues to pounce on the terrorist and capture him alive to stand trial.
"The government has extended all possible help to the families of slain policemen but at the same time it should also ensure that the men in uniform are provided with hi-end equipment to deal with such terror scenarios in future," said Vaishali.
"I feel if my father had a modern weapon to fight against Kasab, he would have been alive now. I don't want other policemen to meet a similar fate," she added.
Image: A photograph of Assistant Police Sub-Inspector Tukaram Omble at the D B Marg police station.