Innovator has to face the Bullet

I have recounted in detail my operation against the notorious dacoits Ram and Shyam. I suffered serious injuries in the chest, thigh and the knee during the skirmish on 14th February, 1982. Both the dacoits were killed in the firing. 

My boss, SP Raigad Mr. Puroshattam Jadhav did not appreciate my raid. I could sense it from his the way he spoke to me. "Why did you not take my help when you had definite information?" he asked. As a matter of fact, on the day of the raid, he was camping at Murad, 150 kilometers away. He had gone there to receive a senior officer.

Mr. Jadhav knew very well how difficult it was to get any information on the dacoits that had been absconding for 22 years. Before becoming the SP, he too had been a sub-divisional officer like me at Panvel in 1978 and had himself tried to nab these very same dacoits. So he was fully aware of how quickly I had to launch the operation.

The failure of Bhangale's weapons in during the shoot-out had been a great blow to me. Had his revolvers worked, we would not have been injured so severely.

I may or may not be in Police force in the future, but policemen would time and again be involved in armed conflict with their own lives on the line. Their weapons should not fail them when they are needed the most. I had suffered because of this, and didn't want others to share the same fate.

The fact that the superintendent of police had not recorded these important facts in our statements was eating at my heart. I therefore mustered up courage to report these facts directly to the Director General of Police.

Among other things, I mentioned that the government revolvers are proving to be ineffective against double barrel guns. Cartridges prepared by dacoits with their hands fire well, but the bullets manufactured in the Government Ammunition factories do not fire! It is necessary to enhance the credibility of government weapons to maintain police morale etc.

But this report that I sent to the Director General of Police was responsible for my undoing! Mr. Jadhav demanded an explanation in writing from me. "Why did you mention these reasons for police man getting injured in this report? You could have mentioned them separately. With whose permission did you carry a spare revolver? Why did you not personally check out the hideout as Ghosalkar did? Why did you shift the SRPF platoon at Bamandongri without my permission? The platoon was not meant for this job. From what I have seen of the dacoit's hideout a road passes close by. There should be some traffic on this road. So why did you not storm the hideout by total surprise?"

He asked for my explanation on these and other 12 different points. 'Alas!' I exclaimed to myself on reading the memo. A wave of pain originated in my head and then seemed to dissolve in to the pits of my stomach.

But it did not end with the memo. Mr. Jadhav inspected my office with his full team when I was still on sick leave. This was his maiden visit to my office since my taking over two years ago! He made of thorough job at the inspection. He submitted a voluminous reported on my alleged mistakes of omissions and commissions. The next five years proved to be insufficient for me to reply and refute all those allegations!

I was bed ridden in the hospital for four months. Ghosalkar was in hospital for eleven months. Although we were in a Government hospital, the expenses were enormous. We therefore requested for financial help.

One fine morning I got a copy of the recommendations of Mr. Jadhav. He had very generously recommended 150 rupees for me and 50 rupees for Ghosalkar.

Ghosalkar had suffered numerous injuries. He had multiple fractures in his thighbone. He spent 11 months flat on his back in bed at the Hospital. He had staked his life in nabbing dacoits who were absconding for 22 years. Yet all, that Mr. Jadhav recommended for him was fifty rupees! And for me - one hundred & fifty rupees! Moreover, the best part of the whole deal is that even this paltry amount is yet to be paid to us after more than 20 years!

Posted by KC on July 12, 2013 Comments (3)