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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mumbai: The Strange Case Of A Missing Police Officer!



An inspector of Mumbai Police goes suddenly missing. Interestingly he has been working for the Missing Persons Bureau of Crime Branch. The cop left his office at around 2.30 pm on Saturday, the 13th of April, 2013 and never returned. He reportedly told his colleagues that he was going out for a walk. The Bureau specialized in finding missing persons went on an overdrive trying to search him everywhere including his native place in Solapur, Maharashtra. But for two days the cop could not be traced.

The inspector’s family was very much alarmed, because the cop has not been keeping well for the last few years and he had a brain hemorrhage surgery in 2007. Due to that surgery he was not allowed to carry a mobile phone and was advised not to exercise his vocal chords unduly. His wife ran from pillar to post filing complaints and meeting cops. But to no avail. It became a situation of hoping against hope.

Monday morning, the 15th of April, 2013. The office building’s security people switched on the power to light up the lobby and also to run the lifts for a normal workday. As the doors of one of the lifts opened up they were shocked to find the missing inspector inside, sprawled up, pale and ghastly. Fortunately he was alive. He has survived for more than forty hours in there without food, water or fresh air, and faced with an overpowering stench. The missing parts of the story then fell into place.

On that fateful Saturday afternoon the municipal workers checked the lifts after doing the service work, and decided to switch off the power because of the weekend. As they checked the lift the cop got into it on the third floor, and got trapped between two floors as they switched off the power. He banged on the doors and used his vocal chords to permissible limits. But as the office was already near empty. For two nights nobody thought of checking the lifts.

This strange tale speaks volumes on the pathetic condition of the once top-in-the-country Mumbai Police. Lack of modernization and proper facilities including better pay, repeated terror attacks, continuing political interference, growing corruption, shortage of staff and lack of modern weaponry have set in a wave of demoralization in the forces. This classic tale reveals the ridiculous inability of the Missing Persons Bureau to find its own officer missing for two days.Where was the search focused?

If Mumbai is to face up to the increasing challenges the trend must be reversed. Mumbai Police must be restored to its past glory.
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