Propelling himself with his hands, seated on a small wooden trolley, a frail-looking man slowly made his way to the office of the Raipur superintendent of police (SP) on Thursday.
Former constable Ram Kishore Gautam had reason to be pleased, after a 20-year-long struggle to seek justice — and dignity.
Paralysed from waist down after he fell chronically ill during the mid-nineties, Gautam was sacked from service in November 1989 by the then Madhya Pradesh police on charges of indiscipline.
Chhattisgarh High Court has asked the police to reinstate Gautam, now 53 years old.
“On the court’s order the state police will provide him everything that is due,” said Raipur SP Amit Kumar.
That year, he was asked to take a convict from Raipur to Bhopal but he expressed his inability to leave Raipur, citing his wife’s illness. This reportedly led to an argument and a scuffle.
He faced suspension, a department inquiry and finally he was sacked. Several appeals to the police higher-ups did not help. “The judiciary ensured justice to me,” Gautam, who can barely hear and has weak eyesight, told Hindustan Times. “My dignity has been restored.”
But he is no longer willing to work for the force after what he went through.
“I will seek voluntary retirement and return to my village (in Satna district in MP).