‘No one heard my side of story, I decided to go with family’

The officer shot his wife dead before turning his weapon on himself early on Tuesday.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published:February 27, 2014 3:18 am
The police officer had an altercation with the judge after allegedly catching him driving drunk in Jagdalpur on Sunday. The police officer had an altercation with the judge after allegedly catching him driving drunk in Jagdalpur on Sunday.

In the suicide note he left behind, Jagdalpur city SP Devnarayan Patel said his department had humiliated him on the word of a drunken judge, without giving him a chance to tell his side of the story.

The officer shot his wife dead before turning his weapon on himself early on Tuesday. The couple’s 11-year-old daughter, who was hit by a bullet that ricocheted off a wall, is paralysed waist downward, and may never walk again, doctors said.

“I have been working loyally for my state and department, but based on false claims made by a drunkard against me, I have been humiliated and suspended without a proper probe. I have never compromised with my job but was not given the chance to put forth my side of the story. It is very disappointing and hence, I am going with my family,” Patel said in his suicide note.

Additional District Judge A Toppo, on whose complaint Patel was suspended on Monday, was on Wednesday transferred to Bilaspur following a visit to Jagdalpur by the registrar of Chhattisgarh High Court. The police officer had an altercation with the judge after allegedly catching him driving drunk in Jagdalpur on Sunday.

Patel and his wife Pratima were cremated on the same pyre at the officer’s native village of Manikchouri in Bilaspur district on Wednesday.

Dr S N Manderia of Raipur’s Ramakrishna Hospital, where the Patels’ daughter Poonam and son Aryan have been admitted, told The Indian Express that Poonam had developed paraplegia as a result of the bullet hitting her spine.

“She is paralysed. We can see some foreign particles in her body. Her lungs too are damaged. She is running a high fever. It is difficult to gauge the extent of her injury unless we are able to do an MRI scan. But even if she does survive, she may not be able to walk again,” Dr Manderia said.

Aryan, who too took a ricocheting bullet, has suffered an abdominal injury which could be fatal. “He needs to be under constant watch,” the doctor said.

Jagdalpur superintendent of police Ajay Yadav, who is overseeing the investigation, said the preliminary evidence showed Patel was deeply frustrated over what he believed was his arbitrary suspension. “He was a gallantry medal winner for his anti-Maoist operations in Narayanpur last year. He was doing good work in Jagdalpur. He acted on an impulse. We are trying to establish the facts,” Yadav said.

An additional district magistrate and the IG (Scheduled Caste Welfare) are probing the case separately.

Officers in Jagdalpur alleged the judge was indeed drunk when Patel confronted him on Sunday. He had parked his vehicle wrongly, and the police had objected. Patel, who had just finished a raid at a local hotel, had been told, and the city SP had walked up to Toppo, the officers said.

“A constable told Patel that a man in a car was misbehaving with police. Patel went to the car and found a drunk man inside. An altercation ensued, and when Patel discovered that the man was judge Toppo, he informed the chief judicial magistrate of Jagdalpur,” an officer said.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

  1. S
    S.B. Roy
    Feb 27, 2014 at 5:28 am
    Rule of the Local Mighty rather than Rule of Law is what we see being practiced in routine Law & Order situations every day. It is like the Food-chain with the Mango man at the bottom of the chain. His death is described only in numbers not even by name. This SP seems to have acted to enforce Rule of Law upwards in the Food-chain and both sides might, in anger, used language deemed appropriate for use with the lower echelons leading to this ghastly situation. Lal batti culture is the root cause of decline of Rule of Law and continued rise of feudal,exclusivist,privileged living culture of our Political, judicial, bureaucratic and Business elite.
    Reply
    1. G
      Guest
      Feb 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm
      Judicial accountability and reforms needed ASAP.
      Reply
      1. G
        Guest
        Feb 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm
        Thank you Indian Express for stifling free speech.
        Reply
        1. D
          Deepak
          Feb 27, 2014 at 4:09 am
          Salute to him. Probably all that you served in busy commenting Hindu Muslim issues !!
          Reply
          1. H
            Harsh Ostwal
            Feb 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm
            Judicial accountability and reforms should be brought in asap.
            Reply
            1. M
              Mohan
              Feb 27, 2014 at 5:22 pm
              Extremely sad to read about the events. The drunken judge should be dismissed. How does one expect men in uniform to discharge their duty impartially if they are ill treated like this.
              Reply
              1. V
                venu
                Feb 27, 2014 at 8:41 am
                very disturbing story, patel should not have taken this exterme step. We badly need good officers like you. RIP!!
                Reply
                1. O
                  Observer
                  Feb 27, 2014 at 5:18 am
                  It seems to be a clic case of the VIP culture claiming a victim. People in position of power think they are special, and have immunity from the law. A thorough investigation must be done on who ordered the suspension and on what basis
                  Reply
                  1. Load More Comments