| Dharamnath Yadav. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Dharamnath Yadav (44) played a key role in the arrest of a terrorist behind last October’s Patna blasts. Denied recognition, the Patna railway station porter is a frustrated man now.
“All I got for my patriotic act was three rounds of quizzing by National Investigation Agency sleuths,” a frustrated Yadav, who hails from Bihar’s Bhojpur district, told The Telegraph today.
He now plans to move high court as no recognition has come his way in the past six months.
“It was I who had caught one of them. I should be getting a President’s Medal. Authorities, however, have failed to recognise my contribution in saving Patna from a major terror attack. I am not going to sit quietly. I will file a writ petition in Patna High Court soon. I am doing so in the larger interest of society,” Yadav said.
He feels denying him recognition would prove detrimental to the security of citizens in future. “If common people are not recognised for their courage, then people will not care even if they see a terrorist or criminal and will not act to save people’s lives,” he said.
The first bomb on the day BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed the Hunkar Rally in Patna last year went off on platform number 10. “I was seated in the porter’s rest room when a bomb went off in the public lavatory around 9.30 am. Seeing smoke emanating, I rushed out and stood in front of a closed door. Two GRP constables accompanied me and we saw a man partially open a door and close it immediately on seeing us. The constables asked me to go inside the lavatory where I just caught him by the collar and dragged him outside.
“Imagine, if the man whom I caught had walked out, more people would have been killed. He had a bag with him when I caught him,” Yadav said.
The porter, who had visited Patna SSP’s office on Tuesday evening, justified his demand to seek security for himself. “Everyone knows that these terrorists have a wide network. I fear that they can attack me, so I am demanding security,” he said.
The man is surely frightened and desisted from giving details of his ancestral village. “Please don’t ask such questions,” he said.
In the absence of any kind of security, the porter has been taking precautionary steps ever since he became a witness to last year’s terror attack. “I do not pick up luggage from each and every person now. I first see the passenger, judge and then decide,” he said.
An officer with the Patna police said: “When it comes to providing security to the man, his petition will be looked into and a decision taken on that.”
Reacting to a porter’s demand for personal security, a senior official of Patna police said: “We would look into the petition and take an appropriate decision.”
The officer, however, refused to say anything about awarding the person who saved so many lives by catching a terrorist. “Such things are decided at a higher level. We just carry out orders,” he said.