BHUBANESWAR: The men and women in khaki face trust deficit; are often vilified too but he or she is never off duty. Not even when they are on leave. Ask Himansu Sekhar Patra. The 27-year-old Sepoy with 2nd Special Security Battalion in Keonjhar single-handedly saved a life when he snatched the gun from a miscreant in a bus in Dhenkanal district on Friday. Patra was away from work and traveling from Cuttack to his home at Bhusal village in Dhenkanal district when three bike-borne miscreants intercepted the bus and pulled a gun at the driver Duryodhan Swain.
Not caring for his life, the sepoy took control of the situation. A littler before the incident, the bus driver had spotted a biker driving dangerously with two pillion riders near Deogaon around 4 pm. He honked the horn to alert the riders but instead of being careful, they hurled abuses and threatened to teach him a lesson in Bhuban. Soon, they stopped the bus at Nilakanthapur by blocking its passage. One of them walked into the bus and drew a gun at Swain while the two others, including a woman, fled. Patra, who was in plain clothes, was seated in the last row of seats.
He saw the bus driver, running towards the rear end of the vehicle with the miscreant, drunk and abusive, on his trail. By that time, the panicked passengers had fled the bus. The anti-social trained his gun at Swain but did not notice the policeman who quietly walked behind him and swiftly twisted his hand behind the back. “The man was drunk and anything could have happened. Not acting was not a choice. I am trained to do this and followed my training to save a life,” said Patra who was on leave since November 15 due to personal work.
He snatched the gun, overpowered the miscreant and took him out of the vehicle when a mob of 20-30 people approached. They forcefully took custody of the miscreant who, however, managed to flee. The policeman’s exemplary courage drew praise from DGP Abhay who invited Patra to his office in Cuttack on Saturday to acknowledge his good work over a cup of coffee. “I invited the brave sepoy for a cup of coffee with me in my office.
He is brave, sincere and a simple man. I have informed him about conferring DGP disc on him as a recognition of his bravery,” said Abhay. Patra had joined the force in September, 2013, when he was around 19. Dhenkanal SP Jagmohan Meena told the newspaper that the gun has been seized and Bhuban police have registered a case in this regard. The accused are absconding and a police team under the leadership of Kamakhyanagar SDPO has launched a search operation to nab them.