Suspended RPF man hero or rule-breaker?
On November 26, 2008, PN Giri, 55, a head constable with the Railway Police Force (RPF) posted at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), took a bullet on the chest during the attack by Ajmal Kasab and his accomplice.mumbai Updated: Nov 26, 2010 02:05 IST
On November 26, 2008, PN Giri, 55, a head constable with the Railway Police Force (RPF) posted at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), took a bullet on the chest during the attack by Ajmal Kasab and his accomplice.
He was one of the first casualties at CST as he tried to save passengers but far from getting support from the state, he has been suspended without pay and exists on the fringes of penury.
Punished for talking to the media about the attacks, Giri has been struggling to manage a seven-member family that includes his wife, four daughters and a son.
DC Pandey, Giri’s former colleague in the RPF, said: “Giri was one of the few RPF personnel who saw the terrorists enter CST. He acted fast to ensure that passengers were shepherded to safety. It was then that the terrorists fired at him. The shot wasn’t fatal for Giri, but the bullet passed through his body and killed another RPF constable standing behind him.”
Giri spent almost two months in hospital.
An RPF constable, on condition of anonymity, said: “A journalist from a Hindi news channel posed as a social worker and promised to help Giri. He asked Giri what happened that night. After Giri told him what had happened, the journalist asked what he thought of his colleagues who had received awards. Giri said he did not seen them firing at the terrorists.”
It was this statement that got Giri in trouble. The RPF suspended him from service without even a stipend, though many of his colleagues agree that what Giri said was the opinion of most within the force.
RPF Divisional Security Commissioner (Central Railway) PC Sinha said: “Giri violated RPF rules by speaking to the media. A probe is on and we will file a charge sheet soon. We are yet to decide on when to revoke his suspension.”
Said Pandey: “Why did the journalist have to lie to Giri? He was one of the few who fought bravely and paid the price for it.”
Giri refused to comment, saying he wasn’t allowed to talk to the media. His wife, Jayashree, said: “One story on a TV channel landed us in this soup. We don’t want to make things worse by speaking to the media again.”