Nothing could stop 49-year-old police constable Vasant Deokar from performing his duty on Friday night — neither the lure of bribe, nor the threat of injury.
Deokar, a father of three children, had no inkling of how action-packed his Friday night would turn out to be when he walked into a crowd of people gathered around two cars between the Andheri and Jogeshwari stretch of the Western Express Highway at around 10.15pm.
“When I reached the spot and was hearing out the two sides [the driver of the Maruti Esteem and Vivek Malik], I realised that Malik was smelling of alcohol. Since driving under influence is an offence, I asked him to drive to the nearby Jogeshwari police station, where he would have been fined,” said Deokar, who is attached to the Jogeshwari police station for the past two years.
“When Malik started resisting, I explained to him that it would take just 10 minutes at the police station, after which he could leave. Malik, however, would not listen and was about to start the vehicle. In order to ensure he does not escape, I got in the back seat of the Indigo car,” added Deokar.
“I told him to drive to the Jogeshwari police station, but he sped northwards. I was taken by surprise and asked him to stop the car,” said Deokar. But Malik would not listen and “asked me to leave, if I wanted to” added the constable.
“I was offered Rs500 to get off the vehicle anywhere on the highway. I told him all he had to do was come to the police station, and pay the fine,” said Deokar.
Deokar then called up the police control room, giving them his location. “I was not sure where the vehicle was headed to, but I had faith that my colleagues will be able to stop the vehicle,” added Deokar.
He soon saw a police van stationed horizontally on the path of the Indigo car. The ride was finally over and the police arrested Malik. “Malik smelled of alcohol. Had I allowed him to go, it would have put lives at risk. I had no other option,” added Deokar.