Vijay Salaskar (Marathi: विजय सालस्कर) was an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and encounter specialist serving with the Mumbai police. He is widely credited with killing 75–80 criminals in encounters, most of these were members of the Arun Gawli gang. Salaskar was killed while fighting terrorists in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. Captured terrorist Azam Amir Kasav claimed responsibility for the killing. Before his death Salaskar was head of the Anti-Extortion Cell, Mumbai.
Early life and career
Salaskar was a post-graduate in Commerce from Mumbai University. He joined Mumbai police as a sub inspector in 1983. India Today reports Salaskar’s first lethal encounter occurred during his first year of appointment, when he shot dead Raja Shahabuddin, known to police on several counts. Salaskar became well known as the number of lethal encounters with underworld criminals grew over the course of his carreer. He was responsible for the deaths of: Amar Naik, Jaggu and Sadhu Shetty, Sada Pawle, Vijay Tandel and Bandya. After being out of the spotlight for quite sometime, the encounter specialist was given the posting of heading the anti-extortion wing of the crime branch.
On November 26, 2008, Salaskar was killed in action by terrorists during the Mumbai attacks.
India Express quotes statements by Constable Arun Jadhav, who was with the officers Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamte 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. Salaskar was driving, Kamte in the passenger seat, 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.