Unlike what I did to Jasbir Jassi and Prof. B S Narang, the escapee never made it to the cell 😉
Life in a police station (PS) can be very interesting especially when one is not at any receiving end. Everyone knows me and my wedding procession as living inside the local PS, Sultanpur Lodhi.
I remember having taught more than 70 students last May and when the first event at the Qila was hosted by the Anad Foundation in collaboration with district and police administration, Kapurthala the turnout was a paltry 220 odd.
There were 23 poets and the event conducted was by celebrated poet Surjit Patar.
I asked the students next day, “where were you and your parents?” The unanimous reply was, “Mom said, we don’t want to go to the PS!” and even, “why would one ever go to a PS?” or even better, “poetry festival! Inside a PS – have you gone berserk?”
But stories are galore like an old one about one top cop years ago who sold thousands of tractor-loads of precious old bricks; of a corrupt station head officer (SHO) also many years ago who had a peculiar way of making money. After having done a favour to an erring citizen of the area who then asked the SHO “Saheb Ji, how can I repay for your kind favour?” The SHO had a liner to say, ‘ecology and environment concerns are very important – you should plant 100 trees”. Seems very noble at that. The grateful-first and overwhelmed-then let-off citizen asked, “how can I do this sewa and from where can I get the trees?” The SHO replied, “brother, where shall you go to find the trees, I have contacts with the concerned people – either you go to them or leave the money for this noble cause, I will get them planted in your name“. One bird (cop) who served at that PS during those years tells that hardly 20-25 trees would get planted rest of money would be put to good use by the visionary SHO 😉
One cop, who happens to be one of my students, just came apologetically and told me about his moment, one of yesterday, of huge embarrassment. One guy from the neighbourhood was caught stealing about 32 rupees from a sadhu. The current SHO (who is such a darling actually and who once studied music from Professor Tara Singh of Gwalior gharana), according to my student, is tough and hence thefts, these days, are on a decline in their area. The thief was at the receiving end of some sound beating that, from what I hear, came served on the house. My student cop, who had the thief in his custody got busy talking to a colleague and this thief opened a window (he was not in the cell as singer Jasbir Jassi in the photo) and sneaked out, climbed on a confiscated truck (from the times of Prophet Adam) on to the wall of the that particular PS. Witnessed by a few, he seemed to weigh the cons for a long time and then jumped outside (bravo) in the jungle and escaped.
As the thief wasn’t charge sheeted or whatever so it was not a problem for the poor cop but it apparently left him embarrassed. Another student of mine who listened to the story asked, ‘why did he run away like that?’ The cop said, ‘brother, you do not know, when the thrashing happens even the walls speak..!’