Police Constables Thorat & Wavekar

The efforts of police constable throat are particularly worthy of note.  Police Constables Throat and Waveker of Panvel circle were assigned to trace the two daciots.  These daciots used to collect ransom from a forest contractor called Bandu sheth.  Bandu sheth held the contract for woodcutting in the jungles at the foot  of Hajimalang Hills. Police roped in Bandu sheth in their plan.

It was decided that he should take some constables in disguise as his wood cutters. They would secretly observe the two wanted dacoits, collect necessary information to track them. Police Constables Thorat and Wavekar volunteered for this job. Disguised as ordinary workers they blended in with the other woodcutters.  They dreamt of taking Ram & Sham unawares, securing them and then dragging them to the police station in fetters.
On their second day in disguise, after finishing their meals, they were washing their hands in the stream.

Suddenly Thorat felt something cold touch his back.  Some thing had been poked in his back.  He turned round to see what it was and saw double barrel gun pointed at him.  A huge belt of cartridges was dangling from the chest of hefty man holding the gun.  “You are a policeman, is it not?  Speak the truth” He roared at him.  Another person holding a gun was standing behind him.  Thorat realized that he was facing none other than Ram and Sham.  Throat summoned all the courage he could. “I am not a policemen.  I am a laborer,” he blurted out. The dacoit pointed the gun at his calf and said, “This is a tell-tale sign of a policeman.  Do not try to fool us!”  In the past, policemen used to wear half pants.  They used to have woolen bandage round their calf.  The portion of the leg covered by the bandage used to remain white and un-tanned.  Sham had correctly identified the constables by noticing this sign.  “You have come to nab us,” he yelled and pointed his loaded gun at Thorat.

The elder brother Ram intervened just then.  “Tell me who you really are.  If you speak the truth, I will spare your life”.  Thorat confessed, “Yes, I am a policeman!” Hearing this Sham put his finger on the trigger and pressed it.  The gun fired.  Fortunately Ram had very quickly lifted the barrel of the gun and Thorat was saved.  He got a reprieve for speaking the truth.  For several months after this incident, Thorat was in a mental shock and was bedridden.  The two dacoits were declared absconders after the police had failed to arrest them in the case of murder of the Sarpanch. 

The Agony of Villagers

After my raid Ram and Sham shifted their bases to Tamsai but continued to threaten Bhasma.  The scared Bhasma was pestering me all the time. He used to sit in front of my office on the heap of sand the whole day.  He was not the only one to be harassed by the dacoits.

The long list of the harassed persons included Bama Mhadu Nirgude of Karamboli, Hira Bhagat, Mangalya kaur, Padu Bhagat, Pogya samare, Nagya thorat of Karmal ,Kanu paradhi of Dhamani Thakur wadi, Sakharya Bhagat of Bhasma’s wadi, Nathuram of Yermal Thakurwadi, Padya Bhagat of Bhajnyachi wadi, Nagya Thakur and several advisees .  They were looting them.  They had even begun to molest and rape their wives. They used to threaten the innocent advisees with black magic and plunder them.

The villagers had lost their morale and the fact that the Government could not arrest the two dacoits for so many years had unnerved them.  They used to approach the God men. They offered the Cheda, Bhairi, Mhasoba, Khanderia Gods goats & hens as sacrificial offerings.  They sought the help of black magic practitioners to kill the two dacoits and spent beyond their means on such superstitious efforts. Baloo Bhasma continued to squat on top of the heap of sand.