Kamte studied at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, St. Xavier’s College, Bombay, the Kodaikanal International School, class of 1982, and the Raj Kumar College in Rajkot. An accomplished athlete, he represented India at the junior power-lifting championship in Peru in 1978.
Kamte is survived by his wife Vinita, two sons Rahul (14), Arjun (8) and his father
Assignments in Police Career
An Indian Police Service officer of the 1989 batch of the Maharashtra Cadre, Kamte also served as the Commissioner of Police of Solapur, as the Superintendent of Police of Sangli district from August 2002 to July 2004, as the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Mumbai Police for the South Region’s Zone 1 until August 2002, and earlier on deputation to the United Nations International Police Task Force in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Mumbai Police and Solapur are commissionerates and Sangli is a district of the Maharashtra Police in India.
Functioning Style in Police Career
In his police career, Kamte earned a substantial following of ordinary citizens as he took on hardened criminals a well as politicians with criminal background.
Shortly after his taking over the Sangli police department, notorious criminal Raju Pujari was killed in a police encounter.
During Mumbai’s occasional communal violence between Hindus and Muslims, the areas under his supervision remained largely free of riots. He was known to be a secular officer and equally loved and respected by both communities.
Kamte came into media limelight after an August 2007 incident in Solapur when he arrested Ravikant Patil, a three-time Member of the Legislative Assembly from Indi in neighboring Karnataka. Patil and his supporters were bursting crackers late in the night at the residence of Patil’s brother Ravikant, a Shiv Sena leader. They caused a scuffle when police tried to enforce the law against bursting of crackers late in the night. Kamte sustained hand injuries in the process of arresting Patil. Patil suffered multiple wounds. The incident created an uproar in political circles but the people of Solapur supported Kamte. Kamte told the Times of India: “Law is equal for all and nobody has the right to violate it”.
“He was a daredevil officer who had gained popularity matching [that of] a Bollywood hero. He himself was on the roads maintaining peace after the Khairlanji massacre. While other cities in the state witnessed violence, Solapur remained claim”, said Anand Salunkhe, former member of Solapur Municipal Transport.
On November 26, 2008, Kamte was killed in action by terrorists during the Mumbai attacks.
India Express quotes statements by Constable Arun Jadhav, who was with the officers Ashok Kamte, Vijay Salaskar and Hemant Karkare when they died. The three officers and four constables had received information that Sadanand Date had been injured in the gunfire at the Cama and Albless Hospital for women and children. Currently located at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), a ten-minute drive from the hospital, they took a Toyota Qualis and proceeded in that direction. Kamte was in the passenger seat, Salaskar driving, Karkare in the second row, and the four Constables, including Jadhav, were in the back row of seating. According to Jadhav, five minutes later two terrorists stepped out from behind a tree and opened fire with AK-47 automatic rifles. The six policemen, other than Jadhav, were all killed quickly in the gunfire. The wounded Jadhav had no opportunity to render assistance. The two terrorists approached the vehicle, dumped the bodies of the three officers on the road and, leaving the constables for dead, proceeded to Metro Junction. Upon arrival, they aimed three bursts of automatic fire at police and journalist vehicles drawn up at that location, then drove off towards the government offices (Vidhan Bhawan) in South Mumbai. Here again they fired several times. While attempting to leave the area, one of the tyres of the vehicle burst, so the terrorists departed to obtain another. At this point, Jadhav was able to contact headquarters. The bodies of the dead were promptly recovered and taken to St George Hospital.