New spider species named after Tukaram Omble, 26/11 martyr who caught Kasab

10:53 AM Jun 29, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

A group of naturalists have named a new spider species discovered in Kalyan, Thane, in memory of the 26/11 Martyr, Tukaram G. Omble — the man who helped nab Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab alive during the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai.


They have named the new species ‘Icius Tukarami’, which first appeared in a research paper. Dhruv Prajapati, Ahmedabad-based photographer and wildlife enthusiast said, “The new ‘jumping spider’ male sex-species, found last year in an urban locality of Kalyan town, has been christened as “Icius Tukarami,”

Parveen Kaswan, Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, posted a picture with the spider on the left and the officer it has been named after on the right.

Mr. Kaswan, “So much nature yet to explore and a good way to pay respect to a martyr. A new species of jumping spider is documented Icius Tukarami from Maharashtra. Named after the martyr Tukaram by researchers.”


Simultaneously, another group comprising Rajesh Sanap, Somnath Kumbhar and John Caleb — discovered another unknown spider species distributed in Aarey Colony, Mumbai and also 50 kms away in Kalyan, and named it as “Phintella Cholkei”, in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

Followed by another tweet,  Mr. Kaswan wrote that the second species of the jumping spider was called Phintella cholkei. “This species is distributed in Thane and Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai. Great find and documentation,” he wrote.

“This is in memory of Kumbhar’s friend, Kamlesh Cholke who used to collect and provide us with different species of spiders. It has unique body pattern and genital organs not seen in other spiders,” Sanap told IANS.

The latest finds have been described and published in a research paper published in an internationally-reputed journal, “Arthropoda Selecta”, jointly by Prajapati and Ravi Dutt Kamboj (both of Gujarat Ecological Education & Research Foundation), Sanap and Caleb (of Indian Institute of Ecology & Environment) and Kumbhar – who meticulously collected both the species from the wild.

On the move to name the species after the Mumbai 26/11 hero, Prajapati said that he was deeply impressed by the extraordinary valour and bravery in the line of duty displayed by Omble when south Mumbai was under a 60-hour siege during Nov. 26-28, 2008.

A former Indian Army soldier who retired and joined as an Assistant Sub- Inspector of Police attached to the D. B. Marg Police Station in 1991, Omble, 54, hailed from Satara and was manning a check-post at Girgaum Chowpatty at the height of the terror strikes in the wee hours of November 27. Soon afterward, the heavily armed Kasab and his associate Abu Ismail were seen speeding down the deserted Marine Drive in a stolen Skoda, but it was stopped at the traffic post near Chowpatty.

(Written with inputs from IANS)


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