Certain incidents, though apparently very trivial in nature, don't leave us even after several years. This is one such incident.
In 1976, during my days in Mysuru as a young police Sub-Inspector, there was a guy named Guru, who was famous for doing little stunts on his motorcycle, sometimes even betting money on his riding skills. He was a headache to traffic policemen. He would commit petty traffic violations and escape without being caught. He was from an influential family.
I was waiting for an opportunity to bring him to book. When he committed a similar traffic violation in my limits in Laksmipuram, I signaled him to stop. But he jumped the signal and sped away. I chased him almost up to Yelwala, but could not overtake and stop him. He vanished from my sight. I was annoyed. But I noted down his motorcycle number.
I prepared a charge sheet, sent it to the court and obtained an arrest warrant against him. After a little search, I tracked him down to a private club on 100 Feet Road, where he was playing cards with his friends.
He was unperturbed at my presence, even though I was in uniform. Very casually, he asked me to join him for a game. My blood was boiling at his arrogance.
Looking straight into his eyes, I told him, "Guru, I have come to arrest you." He said, "Sir, Don't be silly, Do you have a warrant to arrest me? " I said "yes" and asked him to follow me. But he remained seated.
An engineer, who was playing with him, politely asked me whether I could show him the warrant, which I did. On seeing the warrant, the engineer said, "Guru, don't behave like a fool. Yes, there is a warrant issued against you and you need to obey the officer." I thanked the engineer.
But Guru said he didn't give a damn for the warrant. I had no other option but to use force. So I handcuffed him and pushed him inside an auto-rickshaw and took him to Laxmipuram Police Station. I shoved him inside the lock up after observing the formalities.
A few hours later, while I was busy looking into some office files, I saw someone standing just out of my chamber and trying to draw my attention. When I enquired about the reason, the man said he had come to take his friend Guru.
I said, "First, let me know who are you". He said "Sir, I am a cinema actor. My name is Ambareesh and I am the one who played the role of the villain Jaleel in the Kannada movie 'Nagara Haavu'. (Everyone knows that Ambareesh is a celebrity now).
I told him that I had arrested Guru under a warrant and I had no powers to release him on bail. I said, "But I will allow you to bring food for your friend Guru from home if he desires so." I called the constable and asked him to take Ambareesh to the lock up.
After talking to his friend, Ambareesh came back to me and said, "Sir, My friend Guru wants a bottle of Tik-20 for his lunch instead of food from home. He is unable to bear the mosquitoes in the lock up."
Judge Zingade later released Guru on bail when he was produced later that night at his residence, but not before warning him to stop his antics.
(The author is a former Assistant Commissioner of Police)