|Sajal Chakraborty’s surprise inspection early on Monday jolts chowkidar Ramdhan Hazam (top) and wireless in-charge Ram Snehi Singh out of drunken stupor at Angara police station near Ranchi. Telegraph pictures
Humiliation is the best form of punishment, says the (acting) chief secretary’s current rulebook.
Hard-line bureaucrat Sajal Chakraborty, both liked and disliked for his maverick ways to shake up Jharkhand’s laggard babudom, confiscated four pairs of handcuffs and a baton from a police station where he found two policemen drunk and dozing during a wee-hour surprise inspection on Monday.
Not only were the sentries at Angara thana, on the outskirts of Ranchi, inebriated to the extent of slurring, the officiating chief secretary also found glaring lacunae in the wireless book and station diary while the in-charge sub-inspector was sleeping his duty hours away in the absence of his senior.
Chakraborty, whose night raid lasted from midnight till 4am across three police stations and a coal factory in two districts, later told The Telegraph that he would hand over the handcuffs to Ranchi SSP Prabhat Kumar in order to underscore how clumsily the force functioned in and around the capital.
Angara’s bunch of slack men in khaki perhaps had their worst nightmare come true around 12.15am when a car, its beacon turned off to avoid attention, screeched to halt on the thana premises.
“Goli-uli mat maar dena (Do not shoot me),” a deep voice hollered in local accent as two sentries stepped forward to ascertain who their unexpected visitor was. By the time the duo realised that they were up for a piece of the acting chief secretary’s mind, it was admittedly too late.
Chakraborty marched inside the police station building and almost stumbled upon two other sleeping sentries — one was chowkidar Ramdhan Hazam and the other wireless in-charge Ram Snehi Singh.
A gentle nudge woke up a tipsy Hazam, but he could barely utter his own name. “Angrezi nahi mila to chulaiya maar liye ho ka (You took a swig of local brew just because you didn’t get foreign liquor)?” the vexed babu taunted the man (not) in uniform.
Wireless in-charge Singh managed to stutter an excuse. “I only slept around 11pm, Sir,” he pleaded. Without wasting time, Chakraborty ordered him to present the wireless book, which showed no entry for the past two days.
Already annoyed, the knight of the night asked for the station diary. Singh trundled to a shelf and brought the same, but it was found to have been last updated at 6am on June 29.
The acting chief secretary learnt that Angara OC Jai Govind Prasad Gupta was on leave and the police station was under the charge of sub-inspector Harishanker Ram. The latter was reported to be “resting” on the first floor.
And that was the last straw.
“Jab thana mein koi haiye nahi to inka ka jaroorat (When there is no one at this police station, who needs these here),” Chakraborty said, asking his bodyguard to keep the handcuffs and baton in his car.
When a sentry apologetically said that the sub-inspector was on his way down, the babu snapped: “Unko sone dijiye, humko bahut kaam hai (Let him sleep. I have work to do).”
Chakraborty also inspected Silli and Gola police stations between 2pm and 3pm, and the factory in Rajrappa in adjoining Ramgarh district. “News of the inspection leaked from Angara and not much was found amiss at the other thanas. I will return handcuffs to the SSP, but hold back the baton,” he told The Telegraph.