Rickshaw pullers patrol streets

Night hawks

What can one do when the traditional way to check crime pays little dividend? Adopt an unconventional method.

This is exactly what Manu Maharaj, the Superintendent of Police (SP) of Rohtas district in Western Bihar, did.

Rattled over the soaring crime graph in his area despite police patrolling, he convened a meeting of rickshaw-pullers and hawkers in the district and gave them a lesson or two about community policing.

While addressing them, Manu Maharaj stressed on their role in controlling rising incidents of burglary and loot. “If you remain agile, you can play an important role in curbing crime by providing police vital clues,” the SP told the motley group.

Eager to perform the role of a quasi-police, these rickshaw-pullers, led by Santosh Paswan, Sanjeev Paswan and Rajaram Paswan, chalked out a strategy to do night-patrolling and apprehend the criminals.

While one of them remained a rickshaw-wallah, the other two became ‘passengers’ and after mid-night left for the outskirts of the district. The trio did not have to labour hard as barely a few km away they were surrounded by a bunch of criminals, who, at gun-point, asked the rickshaw-puller to stop. Before the miscreants could rob the ‘passengers’, the trio, showing exemplary courage, pounced upon the criminals and nabbed them.

The criminals were brought to Dehri police station where they confessed that they had been involved in burglary and loot for a long time. On their disclosure, the police raided their hideout from where the cops recovered a rich haul of looted articles including Rs 1.4 lakh in cash, bonds of different financial companies, gold, silver ornaments, 11 mobile phones, TV sets, DVDs, cameras, watches, two pistols and cartridges.

“We have rewarded the rickshaw-pullers with cash and blankets for displaying exemplary courage and inspiring others for community policing,” said the Rohtas SP.

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