Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Crime Beat Story

15 MARCH 2010:

It was a day of excitement when our teacher made us to go out, choose our beat and look for news stories from there. All the eleven students somehow managed to get gate passes though wardens started blaming us and our department being so irresponsible for asking shamelessly the exit-pass at the last moment. We got into the train which surprisingly came on time.

As soon as the train boarded Coimbatore, we hurried up to Collectorate from where we had to make our choice of beat. The district head quarters were filled with fellow citizens who had came to collect grievances. From there we met a journalist of a regional daily. He told it was hard to meet any one on these grievance days. In between, a photographer of a famous Tamil newspaper took a few snaps of my friends for a news story on summer heat waves.

Realizing that staying there is a waste of time, we decided to split into groups. I along with three others took crime beat. We went to District Police Office which is nearby Collectorate office. All the officers behaved so well especially a Sub-Inspector Girija. Even in her official dress, she looked pretty and bold at the same time. I wonder why the lady police in Tamilnadu look so fearless compared to Kerala. May be it is the culture that allows one to be courageous and other to act as sub-ordinates to their male colleagues with some unwanted humbleness.

Girija told us the hierarchy of the police system. It is basically divided into two grades. Grade One includes Sub-Inspector, Inspector, Deputy Superintendent (DSP), Assistant Deputy Superintendent (ADSP), Superintendent (SP), Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Inspector General (IG), Assistant Director General (ADGP) and Director General (DGP). In Grade Two come constables and head constables. I knew all these names; but the hierarchy was unknown.

Our next target was Commissioner’s Office, again near the Collectorate. Expectations to meet Commissioner were on high spirits. But the Personal Assistant of Commissioner told us we can’t meet him without prior permission. Still he told us how a case is filed and executed. Any case is primarily registered as First Information Report (FIR). As soon as an FIR is filed, investigation is done and charge sheet is prepared against accused.

Getting out from the Commissioner’s Office, we were satisfied at least we could do something in our first attempt. We rushed into KR Bakes to have a grand lunch. Having food after completing all the works is a different thing altogether. When I finished my last sip of apple juice, my mobile started vibrating. It was a thanks message from my classmate Laxmi for my birthday wishes.

After finishing our food, we rushed to railway station. There was a long queue as usual to get the tickets. We finally got tickets after standing in the line for about 15 minutes. As soon as the train started I fell off to sleep with dreams of colors dancing around me.

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