Now, that’s more like Shimla Police, our police
How would you expect a low rank police officer to treat a teenage boy, who was caught while he was on the run from his home following a family quarrel, on a bike without a license or any other document except for an expired insurance?
On Tuesday this week (8 June, 2014), at about 10 pm, a boy was detained by a cop on duty at Tutikandi bypass crossing.
A cop saw this young boy riding without a helmet and, hence, asked him to pull over. When the cop came closer, he observed the boy was wearing a T-shirt over a track suit lower, ‘chappals,’ and also noticed missing rear number plate. Most likely, he took him as a local boy riding near his home.
The cop asked him why he wasn’t wearing a helmet and asked for his license, which the boy did not have. Neither did he have Vehicle RC. All he had an expired insurance. The number on the front plate bore HR (Haryana) state registration, which the insurance papers confirmed. The cop did take it seriously and pressurized the boy to tell the truth why he doesn’t have any document. When the cop inquired whether it was a stolen vehicle, the boy had to tell him that he just ran away from his home in Ambala following a fight with a family member.
The cop extracted the phone number of his father, and confirmed the statement. The boy had really come this far, to Shimla, in bathroom chappals and pajama. His parents were on their way to Shimla. The cop wasn’t happy at all about this unnecessary nuisance this boy had now become as he had to call the police station, detain the boy, impound the bike, call the police van to take him to the station.
It was not so crowded at that time as the incident took place at late night. Of course, the cop was all scolding the boy for creating trouble for his parents just over a family fight.
The people waiting for buses gathered around the boy. The cop expressed a wonder over the fact that the boy made this far from Ambala, and no one stopped him for not wearing a helmet or the missing number plate. The case could have been solved earlier, and the boy wouldn’t have reached this far. The boy had started at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon and no cop, not even one, nor in Punjab or in Himachal did notice him until he was about to enter into the Shimla city.
However, here, in Shimla, this cop, who was going for his dinner at 10 o’clock night, noticed it and did exactly what his duty asked for. That simple, dutiful act lead to such a crucial finding – a 17-year-old boy on the run on a common mileage bike with just Rs. 60 in his pocket. Imagine how the parents, who were already wandering in search of their only boy, received a call from Himachal Police telling them that their son is safe and is in police custody. Well, now, all that was left to solve in the case was the wait for his parents to come to the station to receive him.
But, the most interesting part was the way the boy was treated by Himachal police. The cop who checked him first was a bit rude, but was kind enough to offer him a plate of ‘pakora’ and some water while the Officer In-Charge and PCR van were on their way to the spot to pick him up.
Finally, when the IO, Ram Singh, approached the scene, everyone at the stoppage was almost sure that the boy is going have his butt kicked. The boy had a branded smartphone, surely over 10K. He was the youngest and only son besides two elder sisters. His father was a farmer. The economical background was kind of OK.
He has just appeared in 10+2 examinations and has landed here in Shimla Police custody just because of single impulse of anger. He didn’t care about the mental trouble he had put his parents into.
Making his way through a little crow encircling the boy, the first word that came out of the mouth of this cop were – “Kya Ho Gaya Beta?”
Not just words, but also the concern that he showed towards the boy was commendable. Second praiseworthy act this officer did is directed the crowd – which was staring at the boy like police had caught a criminal and had, obviously, added to anxiety it caused to the boy – and said, “Please, Aap Log Apna-2 Kaam Kiziye.” Next, he put his hands around the boy and walked away from the crowd. He talked to the boy in a low tone that it wasn’t audible to even person standing next to them.
It was a very odd, really uncomfortable situation for a teenager boy to get caught by police outside his home state. A councilor would tell you hundreds of facts of such behavior that adolescents often display under influence of strong hormonal and psychological changes they go through during such crisis situations in life.
He did not put the boy into police van right away, he did not start interrogating in scolding manner, he did not burdened him with guilt and severity of his action. The conversation with the boy wasn’t audible, but it was good enough to relieve the boy with tears flowing down his cheeks.
Then, the officer inquired if he had eaten something. The snack stall was closed, so the officer said, “Koi Baat Nai, Station main sath main kha lenge, maine bhi ni khaya.”
He appeared to be more than just a cop; a man in authority, but with a strong consideration to the psychological aspect of one’s life.
That wasn’t like the typical, stereotype Indian police behavior that we often hear about in most of the parts of our nation. From the point-of-view of a common man standing at a bus stoppage at this hour of night, this scene revived the trust in the police and humanity.
Some of it could attributed to the Shimla’s previous SP, Abhishek Dullar, for the sanitizing and encouraging them to adopt more friendly behavior while dealing with public or such complex situations.
It was towards the end of this scene when an HW member (present at the scene) took his camera out and sorted permission to click a couple of random shot posted above. Earlier, it would have influenced the order of natural reaction from the police. Then, they left for the station with the boy.
The dutiful act of the first cop helped not only the boy’s parents, but also the boy himself. The boy could have landed in bigger trouble. Himachal Police is one of the friendliest public servants in the country, and with demonstration of such alertness, understanding, compassionate behavior, we must say, Himachal is fortunate enough to have such cops to take care of us.