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Karkare's 26/ 11 bulletproof vest ' missing'.

THE BULLETPROOF jacket that slain Anti- Terrorism Squad ( ATS) chief Hemant Karkare wore on the night of 26/ 11 terror attack has gone missing, his wife alleged.

Kavita said she had to file an RTI application after the Mumbai police said it couldn't find the jacket Karkare was wearing when he was killed by terrorists near Cama Hospital.

" I met a number of officers and asked them about the jacket, but they always gave me vague answers. The reply I got through the RTI was more shocking. The Mumbai police replied the jacket was missing. How can a bulletproof vest worn by a senior officer go missing?" she said.

The slain officer's wife said all TV channels had shown visuals of her husband wearing the vest on the night of the carnage and the police can't claim he hadn't worn it then.

The jacket obviously didn't measure up to the barrage of AK- 47 gunfire that killed Karkare. Apparently, a section of the Mumbai police and politicians in the Ashok Chavan government don't want the truth about the faulty bulletproof vests to be made public.

A senior police officer said there was a lobby at work which did not want the truth to be revealed. " It's no secret that the vests are of substandard quality. It is obvious that a few people in the government and the police have benefited financially by procuring such vests. So, it is in their interests to hide all evidence that could implicate them," he said.

The officer claimed there was a connection between Karkare's vest going missing and a PIL filed in the Bombay High Court.

The PIL claimed bulletproof jackets used by the police were faulty and sought filing of a criminal case against the guilty.

Interestingly, social worker Santosh Daundkar -- who filed the PIL -- sought details of the file relating to the purchase of bulletproof jackets. He, too, got an RTI reply that the file was missing.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Nov 11, 2009
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