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LOCKDOWN LOOKBACK: 53-year-old blind woman still remembers, ‘Keep shut. Or else, I’ll kill you’


Some of her neighbours ran towards her room and informed the police about it. A team led by the station house officer of Shahpura station, Chandrakant Patel, winged its way to the spot. The woman’s story wrenched Patel’s heart. He consoled her, saying, “That beast will be behind bars.”

It was, however, not easy to lay their hands on the culprit, due to lack of evidence, as the woman could not see him. Going to slums in search of the criminal was as perilous as embracing a live bomb because of the corona. Patel’s batchmate, Devendra Chandrawanshi, who was in Indore, had already fallen prey to the virus. His friend’s death saddened Patel.

Yet, Patel is as tough as nails. He says, “Initially, the efforts were just like a shot in the dark, since we were clueless.” Besides, the fright of corona was always there. As they launched a search operation, they wore PPE kits which they changed daily. Evidence continued to elude them. Many suspects were brought to the woman, but none of them was the man they were searching for.

Besides violating the woman, the criminal had made off with her mobile phone. The rapist removed the SIM card but did not destroy it. As a chum of the criminal installed the SIM card in his phone, the police team got an alert. That was the clue that the cops hit upon. A smile flashed across Patel’s face.


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