Hemant Karkare (1954-2008) was a police officer who became Chief of the Maharashtra anti-terrorist squad (ATS) in January 2008 and was killed during the Mumbai terror attacks of 26th November 2008. Prior to his death he had headed investigations into terror attacks in the state, particularly the Malegaon blasts in September 2008, which the ATS linked to Hindu Nationalist groups. These investigations led to the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, the uncovering of saffron terror networks, and ultimately the arrest of Swami Aseemanand.

There are many unanswered questions on Karkare's death, regarding why it took so long for help to arrive, and how crucial evidence in the form of Karkare's bullet proof vest went missing. A book by a former senior police officer claims that his killing was linked to his investigations into saffron terror networks.