| Teen to the rescue: “What I did was what any responsible person should do in such a situation,” said Debasish Saha, 16, after chasing the snatcher of a gold chain, swimming after him, fighting him and pinning him down. Picture by Amit Datta
Debasish Saha did a Shah Rukh Khan on Sunday evening. Only that the 16- year-old did in real life what his hero only manages to do on screen.
Debasish gave chase to a snatcher — fleeing after grabbing a gold chain from a woman at the Dhakuria Lakes — swam after him, fought him and pinned him down.
The teenager, who works with a courier company and earns Rs 1,200 a month, suffered cuts and bruises on his arms and legs, but made light of his effort and his injuries.
“What I did was what any responsible person should do in such a situation,” said the braveheart, who idolises Shah Rukh and names Don (2006) as his favourite film.
“The culprit was a young man and I can’t understand why people like him get involved in crime, instead of earning an honest living,” rued the boy from Karunamoyee in Tollygunge. Debasish’s father Ratan Saha, a tuberculosis patient, runs a small roadside paan shop.
Ajay Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (south division), said the incident took place around 7.45pm in front of Lake Club.
“Partha Poddar and his wife, residents of Lake Gardens, were out on an evening walk. Suddenly, two young men, in their mid-20s, stopped the couple and one of them, later identified as Sanjay Halder, snatched the woman’s gold chain,” said Kumar.
Debasish was returning home with a friend, Subrata Mandal. “We decided to cut through the Lakes to save time. Suddenly, I heard shouts for help. I ran towards the couple and saw a youth fleeing the spot. I ran after him,” recounted Debasish.
The boy, a good sportsman in school till he dropped out in Class VIII to help support the family, soon caught up with the goon.
“I was stunned when he offered me a share of the loot if I allowed him to flee. When I refused, he punched me in the face. I retaliated. Sensing trouble, he jumped into the water,” said Debasish, who promptly dived into the water.
“I swam faster than him and pinned him down as soon as he reached the shore. By then, some other people and a few policemen patrolling the area rushed in, captured the man and recovered the stolen chain,” the boy recalled.
Partha Poddar thanked Debasish and insisted on giving him Rs 100. “I did not want it, but they thrust the money into my pocket,” said Debasish.
Ajay Kumar said he would recommend Debasish’s name for the Calcutta police bravery awards.
Debasish, however, was most “grateful” because some officers of Lake police station had assured him that they would get his cellphone repaired.
“As I jumped into the Lakes, I realised that my cellphone was in my pocket and that it would stop functioning. I really need my cellphone for work and for my family to call me any time,” said the braveheart.