As a journalist, he used to spend entire weeks in the jungles to get a sound bite or two from leaders of Left Wing Extremist groups. Years later, he still ventures into the woods, albeit for a different reason – nabbing the very people he once interviewed.
Meet 29-year-old Parvin Tiwari, a home guard jawan with the Gumla police who has played an active role in the arrest of at least 153 Leftist rebels. Ever since he joined the police in 2009, Tiwari has been a part of fearless raids in Maoist hotbeds to arrest at least a dozen sub-zonal and zonal commanders – the most recent among them being zonal commander Prasad alias Ashok Lakra, who carried a Rs 10 lakh reward on his head.
Left extremists are active in no less than 16 of Jharkhand’s 24 districts.
The job, however, doesn’t come without risks – Tiwari has survived at least five attempts on his life by rebels in the last six years. His relatives, however, have not been as lucky. On July 10 last year, Maoists killed his uncle, Shailesh Tiwari, and threatened to eliminate other members of his family unless he stopped pursuing them.
However, Tiwari remains deterred by the threats, promising to serve the state police as long as he is alive. His only complaint is that his position as a home guard – considered an ad-hoc arrangement – does not allow for bravery awards or promotions. The least the authorities can do, he says, is regularise his services as a constable.
“I am aware of the risks to my family and my life, but there is no looking back in this mission. I have already dedicated this life to the service of the nation,” says Tiwari.
Incidentally, he was wandering around the state secretariat with a file containing letters of recommendation and praise from Gumla superintendent of police Bhimsen Tuti when HT caught up with him. The jawan was there as part of yet another attempt to goad the government into regularising his services.
One of the letters, written on January 6, describes Tiwari as a home guard who has shown exemplary commitment towards his work. “Due to his efficient handling of cases, the Gumla police achieved several objectives successfully in their operations against the Maoists,” Tuti said in the letter.
In another letter, the Gumla superintendent of police described how Tiwari had exhibited insurmountable courage by crawling into a Maoist platoon’s hideout at Hesang village amid heavy gunfire to nab Lakra.
When the issue was brought to the notice of director general of police DK Pandey, he said, “We know all about Tiwari’s case. I don’t think there will be any hitch in inducting him into the police force as a regular constable. I have directed the ADG headquarters to expedite the work on Tiwari’s file.”
Meanwhile, the home guard jawan hopes that the Maoists are wrong in alleging that the government hands over awards and promotions on the basis of influence, not merit. Nevertheless, he does not harbour any regret. “I am thankful to all the police superintendents who had faith in me, and gave me this role and responsibility. I always try to give them more than what they expect from me,” says Tiwari.
Repeated calls to principal home secretary NN Pandey went unanswered.