Unmaking of an ‘almost’ criminal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Unmaking of an ‘almost’ criminal

Abdul Wahab slipped but has been spared a fall. Five months ago, the 20-year-old from Gujarat was a fugitive. He was accused of attempting to abduct a woman after intimidating her with a pistol-shaped gas lighter, reports Vijaita Singh.

delhi Updated: Feb 11, 2009 12:46 IST
Vijaita Singh

Abdul Wahab slipped but has been spared a fall.

Five months ago, the 20-year-old from Gujarat was a fugitive. He was accused of attempting to abduct a woman after intimidating her with a pistol-shaped gas lighter.

Delhi Police trailed him to Hansot in Gujarat, and arrested him in October. But today, rather than being locked up with hardened criminals, Wahab spends his days at the Lodhi Colony police station, as the unofficial Man Friday to policemen there.

Dark chapter

Wahab says he attempted the crime in desperation. His entire family was reportedly in the grip of poverty at that time, and he had not had a morsel for four days.

“I still remember the day. I was sitting on the pavement beside Nizamuddin Flyover and keeping a close watch on all the women drivers. When I stormed into this woman’s car, she shouted and I lost my nerve. I fled from the scene, leaving my bag—and vital leads—behind.”

Wahab said he hid at a nearby church for a few hours that day, and left for home next morning. A Delhi Police team tracked him to Hansot and arrested him in October.

Even the usually dour policemen were touched by the Wahab family’s plight. “His father said they did not have money to travel to Delhi for paying the bail amount. So, when Wahab got bail, we decided to bring him into the mainstream. He was not a serial offender,” said a police officer.

Hope floats

Wahab is full of gratitude for the policemen. He is the eldest of five siblings and has many responsibilities to fulfill. Ironically, he had bought the offending lighter as a gift for his youngest brother.

Wahab speaks English and can operate a computer. The policemen vouch he is a changed man. Station House Officer Rajendra Singh and his team are now trying to find him a job. They also want him to complete his studies, which he gave up after Class X.

“I occasionally talk to my family on the phone. I want to be somebody, and when I go back home I should have some money in my pocket. I would work for a living now,” Wahab told HT.