Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A salute to Punjab police

Corrupt, rapists, murderers, pot bellied. If this is all you think about Punjab police, here are few lines that will make you re-think. As strange as it may sound. Few Punjab police cops have a side that is lesser known to the world and the prefer to keep it under wraps.

This series brings forth the other side of men in khakhi – our very own Punjab police cops. It’s based on true incidents.

Labbi – the found child

After traveling 150 kms, as I unloaded bags off my shoulder with a thud, the girl came rushing to me. I asked her name and she replied, Labbi. In a state of names like Kaur Singh, Ladoo Singh, Shinda – Labbi came as a strange name.

I was one of many boarders, who had come to seek accommodation in new city, where I was transferred much to my chagrin. Later, the owner of that palatial house, went on to became mother-figure and we shared nuances of life.

I asked her about Labbi and she told that Labbi lived in neighborhood. At the age of to, she was found crying on a shop, someone had abandoned her, and a kind hearted cop brought her up as her own daughter. This cop lived in close vicinity of my lodging.

When I joined office, later in the day, boss asked where I had rented the accommodation.

“It’s a small non-descript area. Somewhere on outskirts of the city.”
“But still. You might have some land mark.”
“Ya. A senior police official stays opposite my land lord’s place.”

And he asked me his name. When I answered, he shifted back in his chair. He told me something that only a handful people knew. A fact that changed my perception of cops. A fact about Labbi, that even she did not know.

My kind hearted neighbor cop had found Labbi – the child – bleeding in interior parts of the walled city. The two years old infant was brutally raped and left to die near a garbage dump.

He took the child to city hospital, paid for her bills and did not have heart to leave her to her fate. Doctors operating her told that the child’s urinary tract had to be reconstructed surgically. When the infant recovered, he brought her to his home. And told his wife that he had found the child abandoned at a shop during patrolling duty.

The girl is appearing for her board exams this year. She has not picked name of the cop as her father, but that of his gardener’s. But she would always remain his child.

(some details have been changed to conceal identity of cop and the child)