A daring and duty-bound Ranchi policeman put his life on the line to save the modesty of a 35-year-old woman from being outraged by eight youths, including the sons of an inspector and a ward councillor.
Dhurwa police station sub-inspector Harnarayan Shah clung to one of the two vehicles of the gang and was dragged for a couple of hundred metres before he could overpower the driver and save the targeted victim, a mother of three.
The incident, which took place on Wednesday night, is a face-saver for the capital’s police force, which was left embarrassed after a woman in her late forties was gang-raped and left to die in Harmu, 7km from Dhurwa, late last month.
The 45-year-old policeman was on routine patrol around 9.40pm, when he received a tip-off on a possible rape attempt at Sakhua Bagan. Shah’s source, a local resident, said he had seen two cars with eight youths, barely in their 30s, and a woman, and the latter “appeared senseless” in the rear seat.
An officer at Dhurwa police station said Shah immediately reached the spot. Seeing the police vehicle, four of the youths escaped in a car, while three ran away.
The eighth member of the gang, who was steering the second car, however, stayed put. When Shah approached him, he noticed the woman lying unconscious in the back seat and asked the youth what was up. The latter claimed to be the husband.
“Not to be fooled, Shah kept grilling him. Caught in a spot, the youth suddenly stepped on the pedal. Our man lunged forward and clung to a window of the car. He was dragged for more than 200 metres before he managed to overpower the youth. Local residents too rushed to help. They beat up the youth and the woman was rescued,” a police officer said.
City SP city R.K. Prasad lauded Shah’s intrepid act and said five of the eight had been arrested. “The driver was nabbed first and then four of his aides were netted during night-long raids,” Prasad said.
Shah, a 1994-batch officer, said had he failed in his duty the woman might have met the same fate as the Harmu victim. “I have done my duty. Else, she may have been dead by now. She was unconscious when we rescued her. We took her to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences for medical examination, from where she was referred to sadar hospital this afternoon. The report, which is awaited, will clarify whether she was sexually assaulted last night,” he said.
Police said the victim was a resident of Kishoreganj in Sukhdeonagar and worked as a cook in social functions. Her husband, Bajrang Lal Purohit, told the police that she had left home for Dhurwa on Wednesday evening for work and they came to know of the unfortunate incident on Thursday morning. The couple have two daughters and a son.
An FIR has been registered against the arrested five — Sonu Sharma, Kislay Singh, Abhishekh Kumar, Vijay Kumar and Roshan Kumar — and the others. Kislay’s mother is a ward councillor in Ranchi, while Abhisekh’s father is an inspector posted in Palamau.