Records of communication on the police wireless network during the Mumbai terror attacks
Vinita Kamte, widow of IPS officer Ashok Kamte, had invoked the Right to Information (RTI) Act to seek records of communication on the police wireless network during the Mumbai terror attacks on 26.11.2008. Her request was turned down on the ground that the case was sub-judice and the information was confidential the disclosure of which was exempt under the RTI Act. After the hanging of the only surviving terrorist, Ajmal Kasab, Vinita Kamte approached the chief information commissioner at the State Information Commission (SIC) Ratnakar Gaikwad, who fixed a personal hearing for the case. However, none appeared from the police side for the proceedings forcing the SIC to adjourn the hearing with a warning that failure of the respondents to appear may call for imposition of penalty.
The case again came up for hearing a week back but the senior IPS officer who attended was neither aware of the information sought by Vinita Kamte nor of the reply given by the administration. Vinita Kamte claimed that she had received two letters, but the information provided was wrong and contradictory. The SIC has asked the Mumbai police to provide specific information to her and has also asked the additional chief secretary to look into the matter.
Four years after the death of her husband Ashok Kamte who was killed during the terrorist attack, Vinita Kamte is still looking for answers. Will the records of communication on the police wireless network during the Mumbai terror attacks ever come to light?