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Tributes paid to Hemant Karkare

Staff Reporter

— Photo: S. Mahinsha

Homage for a hero: Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan handing over a portrait of Hemant Karkare, slain Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief, to his wife, Kavita Karkare, at the Swaralaya Kairali Gandharvasandhya 2009 in the city on Sunday. Poet O.N.V. Kurup and singer K.J. Yesudas are also seen.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: “My husband Hemant Karkare always said that he was just a part of this universe and society. And that he had to pay back to his society. On 26/11, he paid back to his society,” said Kavita Karkare, wife of slain Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, here on Sunday.

Speaking at the Swaralaya Kairali Gandharvasandhya 2009, at which she was a guest of honour, Ms. Karkare said that she was proud that the Malayali audience had acknowledged her husband’s sacrifice.

Veteran musician M.S Vishwanathan was awarded the Swaralaya lifetime achievement award at the function while singer Kavita Krishnamurthy was awarded the Swaralaya Yesudas Award for best singer of the year.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, singer K.J. Yesudas, poet O.N.V. Kurup, Director-General of Police Jacob Punnoose, Mayor C. Jayan Babu, Kairali TV managing director John Brittas, and Swaralaya Kerala chapter chairman G. Rajmohan were present.

At the function, the Home Minister handed over a portrait of Hemant Karkare done by artist Rajendran to Ms. Karkare.

The Minister said the ATS chief, who courageously jumped into the middle of action during the Mumbai terror attacks, is a role-model to every policeman in the State. He said that all religions should isolate terrorists as terrorism has no religion.

“`No religion supports communalism or terrorism. Those who perpetuate terrorism in the name of a religion are the greatest threat of that religion.” Mr .Balakrishnan added that people from all walks of life, including artists, writers and sportsmen, should come out and pledge against terrorism. Mr. Yesudas said that it was high time that Indians broke the barriers of religion, castes, race and regionalism to unite against terrorism, which was the country’s common enemy.

‘Sangeethayatra’

Ms. Karkare also handed over to Mr. Yesudas the torch of ‘Shanthi Sangeethayatra,’ a musical voyage against communalism and terrorism that the singer will be taking to all States of the country.

Paying his tributes to Hemant Karkare, Mr. Punnoose said Hemant Karkare was the symbol of India’s resistance to terrorism.

“The spirit of Mr. Karkare’s sacrifice will awaken fellow Indians to fight against terrorism,” he said.

In a symbolic gesture, balloons were flown off at the function in memory of those who were killed at the Mumbai terror attacks.

A fusion concert led by L. Subrahmaniam and featuring musicians from abroad, and a music programme led by Mr. Yesudas were also held on the occasion.

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