No outrage,my job is their safety,says officer who guards the 4 men

Bhagwan Sahai’s day starts early.

Written by Sumegha Gulati | New Delhi | Published:May 14, 2013 1:14 am

Bhagwan Sahai’s day starts early. Every morning,the Delhi Police Sub-Inspector leaves for Tihar Jail where four men accused in the December 16 gangrape case are lodged.

He picks up Mukesh Singh,Akshay Thakur,Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta,and rides with them to special fast-track court in Saket complex. Sahai waits till the end of trial and then takes the four back to Tihar Jail.

Sahai is in charge of ensuring the safety of the four men — from the time they leave the jail,till they are back.

Since the trial in case started,Sahai — along with men from 3rd Battalion of Delhi Armed Police — has been part of security apparatus for the accused.

An hour before the trial begins,the four accused are taken out of their cells in Tihar Jail and brought to dodhi — or the checking area. Here,the formalities and paperwork are completed,the four men are inspected and handed over to Sahai and the team.

Though the team is collectively responsible for the safety of the accused,Sahai says members of the 3rd Battalion are put on duty rotation-wise.

“I am the only one who has been a part of the security of these accused since the day the trial started. I have come here since then every single day without fail. So,it is my duty to ensure that no untoward incident takes place,” Sahai told Newsline.

Sahai shadows the four men everywhere they go after they step out of Tihar Jail — even to the washroom and the water cooler. If an accused wishes to submit a view or a problem before the court,Sahai accompanies him to the witness box.

Sahai says he has no opinion on the case,even though the incident resulted in widespread outrage in the city.

“A policeman cannot have outrage against an undertrial. It is our job to bring them here and transfer them back safely,” he says.

The four accused seldom speak to policemen. “They never talk to us about the case. They might talk among themselves,but never with us. Sometimes,they talk about their families. They miss them,” he says.

Sahai and other policemen are also witness to the “highly emotional” meetings between the accused and their families inside the courtroom.

“The families don’t talk to us,but we have to be around when such meetings happen,” the policeman from Rajasthan says.

After the trial in the case began,the Delhi Police devised a special security measure to ensure the safety of the accused. The immediate or Tier-1 security comprises personnel from the 3rd Battalion.

As the trial begins,the last row of the courtroom is a chequered line with an accused sitting between two khakhi-clad policemen.

Tier-2 is formed by local police and additional forces. More than 100 policemen guard the fast-track court.

“Usually,we try not to change the policemen deployed,but they may keep changing due to the postings. All personnel are duly briefed and there is a standard drill to plug in any loopholes. It is a strategic and planned deployment. We have ensured that if the situation gets out of control,we have people at every step to maintain law and order,” Additional DCP (South) P S Khushwaha told Newsline.

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