Contractor turns cop in Jharkhand to fight Maoists

Contractor turns cop in Jharkhand to fight Maoists

Thirty-year-old Shahzad Khan was an everyday road works contractor who even payed the mandatory levy, eight per cent of the total project cost, to different Maoist groups in Chatra-Latehar-Hunterganj area.

But once he developed enmity with the Maoists, the rebels not only blew up his house in Charkakalan, but also gunned down seven members of his family.

Khan then decided to take the rebels head-on by joining the Jharkhand Police. He joined as special police officer (SPO) in Chatra in 2007, where his main assignment was to keep a tab on their movement, share information about explosives planted by the ultras and help the police to nab them.

The police received a tip-off in March that explosives were found near Dulki river on the Latehar-Chatra border.

Since Khan had helped defuse nearly 500 bombs in the last seven years, the then ASP R K Mishra took him along to the river site. Before Khan and Mishra could understand the trap laid by the Maoists, the bombs exploded as soon as they touched the carton.

Mishra suffered severe eye and face injuries, while Khan lost his right leg. The top police brass, including DGP Rajiv Kumar, ensured that they were rushed to Daltonganj in Palamu where a helicopter immediately flew them to Ranchi’s Apollo Hospital.

While Mishra was eventually airlifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon for further treatment, Khan received treatment at Apollo for quite some till he got an artificial leg.

“I am really grateful to the DGP, whose humanitarian approach saved my life,” Khan told Deccan Herald, while recounting the horror.

“The artificial leg has given me a new lease of life. I can now drive my vehicle. And till the last drop of my blood, I will fight these misguided entities called Maoists,” he added.

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