The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Big Bull bags bail after cop-out strategy

Calcutta, Dec. 3: Big Bull Ketan Parekh won a mind game played over six hours in the byzantine lanes of Mumbai with all the crazy twists and turns of a Keystone Kops comedy.

The odds were stacked heavily against the cops from Calcutta — they were, after all, taking the bull by the horns in what used to be his kingdom, not so long ago.

At the end of a six-hour drama, Parekh secured an 'interim' bail and the comfort of Nanavati Hospital's intensive care unit. The cops will return empty-handed.

Calcutta police produced Parekh in the court of the Mumbai metropolitan magistrate 35 this morning, and obtained a transit remand — the permission to bring him to Calcutta.

But the magistrate informed the two detectives that Parekh's lawyers, led by Mahesh Jethmalani, had moved the court of the chief metropolitan magistrate, and that they should get the ‘transit remand’ ratified by the chief metropolitan magistrate.

The cops smelt a rat. They called up their bosses in Calcutta and lawyers to discuss the consequences of not seeking the chief metropolitan magistrate's permission to bring Parekh to Calcutta.

After due deliberation, they decided against seeking the chief metropolitan magistrate's approval to the ‘transit remand', and immediately had Parekh released from the custody of the local police station.

“We need to take him to a few offices before leaving for Calcutta,” the cops told Mumbai police.

That’s when the farcical Keystone Kops routine began: around 1 p.m., the detectives of Calcutta police took Parekh into custody, and headed for the airport.

To ensure that they were not being shadowed, they drove without direction for little over an hour, and finally took the most unlikely route to the airport. They reached around 3 p.m. to take the Jet Airways flight to Calcutta at 4.30 p.m.

Ninety long minutes to victory. The cops bought tickets for three and even checked in, when Parekh delivered the cop-out blow: it was 3.30 p.m. and one of the sub-inspectors had entered the security enclosure when the Big Bull collapsed.

He fell with a thud as the other sub-inspector watched in shock. Airport doctors rushed to attend on Parekh. After examining him they said his blood pressure was too high — 180/110 — and he was not fit to fly.

The cops were asked to accompany him to the nearest hospital. At Nanavati Hospital, Parekh was taken to the intensive care unit where a doctor, after conducting an ECG and other examinations, told the police his blood pressure was normal and so was the condition of his heart.

“Then release him at once,” the police told the hospital authority, but they refused to do so without consulting a specialist.

By the time a specialist arrived on the scene, Parekh's lawyers had obtained an 'interim' bail from the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, R. D. Gate.

Parekh is still in hospital and has been advised to appear before the chief metropolitan magistrate of Calcutta by December 20 — small consolation for a battle lost.

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