I came back 3 hours early from office hoping to relax after a long and arduous week at work. Had a cup of tea and went out for an evening walk.
Little did I know how this day would unroll.
( – – follows below the chronological listing of how things happened – – )
- I was walking in the footpath when I saw a bike racing through breaking the red light
- In the next moment it came to a screeching halt about 5 cms from two girls crossing the road
- Their physical appearances were like hoodlums. They were two boys with the one at the back carrying two rugsacks full of some commodity.
- They started shouting at the girls, without any molestation intent. The angry conversation was more rude and menacing.
- The small 30 sec brawl seemed to have ended when the girls started to cross the road
- The Driver of the bike shouts at the girls saying that ‘Jitni Angrezi Hai, Sab nikal dunga’
- All this while I stood approximately 5 meters away and watched. The girls ignored the comment and crossed the road.
- I then came over and told the boys, ‘You’ve made a mistake, now move on’. I introduced the word ‘salon’ to address them.
- They shouted back, something like who the heck are you to interfere in our affairs.
- All this while a traffic policeman was standing 20 meters to my left and watching this. It was obvious he did not want to get involved in this mess.
- I called the policeman over and told them what they were doing. I also pointed out that they must have broken at least 3 laws including jumping traffic lights, driving without helmet and rash and negligent driving.
- He asked them for their license and registration of the bike. The driver had neither.
- The pillion rider got off the back and went running to the nearby small illegal temple. He called over the owner of the bike.
- The traffic policeman walked us both to checkpoint with a lot of traffic policemen about 50 meters ahead. They were testing people for alcohol consumption.
- While walking the boy told me that I can stand in Dwarka and talk to him like that. If I ever walked into his locality, Madhu Vihar, he would not let me go.
- I narrated the entire story to the policemen. They said that they cannot book this guy as this had become a street feud and hence the concerned police station must be informed.
- They asked me to decide, if they should call the police or simply fine him for driving without helmet and license and let go.
- Meanwhile the owner of the bike took his mobile phone and tried to make a call. I saw his flash on his mobile camera go off three times. I realized, he had just taken my photo.
- I called out to the traffic policeman there and told him that he had taken my photo. He fiddled whit his phone for about 20 seconds and then kept saying that his flash goes off whenever his phone is ringing.
- I took his phone from him and saw that the camera switch was on the side, a single press version
- The phone was a Nokia X6 which is a very expensive phone. When I looked at a wallpaper a very ‘fair and highly sophisticated lady’s photo was there.
- I did not realize then that the phone was probably stolen.
- Meanwhile the traffic policemen suggested that we call the station police.
- I told the policeman, I was feeling threatened. I took snaps of the Bike Driver and the Bike owner on my mobile.
- I took a brief look at their phone and did not have time to look deep. The boy kept saying that the flash goes off whenever the phone is ringing. He said if I wanted I could check his gallery. I saw the top photos of his gallery at a glance of maybe 2-3 secs. It did not have my photos.
- I realized, my searching in their gallery is useless particularly as they were asking me to and the boy had chance to move or delete them.
- I took snaps of the Bike Driver and the Bike owner on my mobile.
- I then told them that I have taken their snap and have emailed them to my parents (which I had not done yet), and so if anything were to happen to me, my family would know.
- I stood there thinking of my options. Meanwhile the owner of the temple a lady in her 40s came over along with another chap. They started pleading using emotional lines. I remained firm that a small apology would not do and they must be penalized
- After trying to persuade me for over 30 mins, they began to start losing their cool. They finally started to talk rudely saying that this was being done only because they were poor and helpless
- Meanwhile a bystander who seemed like a gentleman stepped in. He was carrying groceries in one hand. He described himself as a captain (defence) who stayed in the adjacent apartment.
- He heard the entire story again from me and the boy. The boy by now was not defending himself and kept saying he was sorry. The captain explained to the boy, that if I book the boy, he would for allpractical purposes end up spending a large part of his next few days in jail.
- Captain then took me aside and explained that he knew the law and if I chose to file an official complaint then the boys life would be lost. He said the other alternative is that the traffic police fine this boy heavily and I do not file an official complaint.
- After a lot of thought I agreed that it was indeed not advisable to waste someone’s life
- I hence asked the traffic police to fine these people to the maximum extent. The traffic policeman then said that he cannot fine the boy driving the vehicle without impounding him and booking him as he did not have a license
- The captain asked me to take a call and said that he would be with me as another responsible citizen. He said if I needed to go to the police station, he would accompany me as well.
- I agreed to this. I went and told the policeman that I was okay with this. He was not in agreement. He said if tomorrow something bad were who would take the blame. I said that I would not pass the responsibility to these traffic policemen if these people were to physically harm me.
- I asked Captain for his business card, he said he was not carrying it with him. I got suspicious that he may not be as good as it seems. He even gave me his mobile number. I called it once from my cell and saw that his mobile was ringing. He was carrying an expensive PDA, probably Samsung Galaxy Tab. His number is : ************. He said that I needed to add a zero to his number. I later checked at his home that this was a Mumbai Number.
- Captain then discussed with the traffic policeman. They decided that they would register the complaint in the name of the bike owner. I agreed mentioning very clearly hat I would not sign on this as a witness as this was untruthful.
- The traffic policeman filled in the chalan. I told the captain, he should put in his name as witness as I would not sign this. The traffic policeman took both my name and his name along with our numbers as witness numbers.
- I went off trying to ask another mobile-beat policeman, manning the barricades, if I should really call the police. He advised that I would be better off, as these guys had threatened me. He advised that report this and if required do not press charges. He however said that he was not pressurizing me.
- I agreed thinking that this would be a wise thing to do.
- He went ahead, took my name and mobile number and called the police station
- Meanwhile I called up home and asked my parents on what to do. My father advised me that at NO CONDITION should I file any sort of report.
- My father came down and discussed with the mobile-beat policeman that he did not want me to press charges.
- The policeman said that we would have to talk to the police officers who came down as they were already on their way.
- My father advised me to take his car (he had come down in his car) and go straight home.
- I did as advised. He then called and asked me to switch off my mobile phone.
- Later when father came home he told that the police had arrived and wanted us to book a case.
- When my father said that its nothing worth listing and he would not like to list the case, they said then what would happen to their time and effort.
- My father said that their effort would not go on waste as the boys would be terrified since these police had come and would not repeat this kind of activity.
- The police officer asked my father for his address and mobile number. My father politely refused so that we would not be harassed unnecessarily.
- The Police officer then asked my father to leave as there was no point of continuing the discussion. My father politely thanked them for being there for common citizens and left.
In retrospect I realize what would have probably happened thereafter.
- The concerned officers would have taken sufficient money from the boys and their fraternity to not book them under several charges which they could book them in (some which would not require a witness)
- Had I agreed to list a complaint, this amount might have gone up ten folds.
I was half expecting these cops to call me and ask me to file a complaint. If not at least come over to police station several times, or harass me enough. I had my phone switched off, so that no one could reach me. But as I have missed call alert, I can see no one has called yet.
Tomorrow is a crucial day, and I intend to pick no phone call, which does not show a number. I am glad I did make the call to my dad, a bit embarrassed that I chickened out at the 11th hour but proud nevertheless that I chose to stand there and fought for what seemed like eternity on my clock and about 100 mins on the mechanical clocks.
Attaching the photos of the driver and the owner of the bike, just in case (JUST IN CASE!!) someone needs this to push and find those who ‘harmed’ the jolly fat boy on an evening walk who chose to stand up!