I Am A Woman First Then A Cop
I Am A Woman First Then A Cop
Everything about Shalini was different, she was self-confident, courageous, and always at the forefront of any fight for justice especially in cases where women or child victims,' were involved, I recognized her now as she stood in front of me, a candlelight vigil for a rape victim. I was a journalist covering the protest,. After some time the crowd started dispersing, I followed her for some distance, my cameraman was with me I told him that he could leave that I would meet him the next day. Wishing me good night he left. Shalini was just in front of me talking to a friend. I waited not knowing whether she would recognize me, as I did, It was her face, those big eyes, and her attitude and the placard carried the slogan, women are not toys or doormat. Her pet slogan in those days when we studied together. She had not changed. She was pausing as she went along and talking to people on her way, I caught up with her Hello Shalini I said, she stopped in her tracks turned, yes she said then looked at me and asked do I know you? I smiled at her and said Rohan Khanna at your service, She covered her mouth with her hand in surprise and said
My God, I can't believe it's you after so many years.
How did you recognize me, The placard and the slogan, and those eyes? Ten years she said "the last time we met you were pursuing journalism" and you," I said socialism".We laughed together. I am in Delhi to cover this tragedy. "I am settled here she said, Where are you staying, , "At a hotel I said"." nothing doing she said
You are coming and staying with me, We will pick up your luggage tell me which hotel it is, Much later after dinner, I settled myself on her sofa ok she said you first tell me what happend during the last ten years.
"I completed my journalism and went on to join a newspaper, then went on changing jobs now I am working for "today's news" a news channel, we got a studio here in New Delhi, My boss sent me here to cover this incident. am Not married I said. To a question she asked about my marital status,. Now it's my turn she said.
After graduation when we went our separate ways I Came to Delhi did my PG In socialism, I am working in Delhi, Not married did not find the right person. Tomorrow we will discuss this tragedy, Good night she said, I too wished her. The next day I woke up it took me some time to know where I was, Shalini was already awake "early riser I asked her, Yes she said you drink coffee she said, yes I said, ok she said I will tell you about this case, I listened to her, the victim she was a good looking girl abducted on her way to school and gang-raped by three rapists.Then murdered and they left her body near a garbage dump. The police know who are the rapists who did it, but they have made no progress, how are you so sure they know I asked her. She just said everybody knows but are frightened of them They are well connected, But I know where they are hiding, , you know something Rohan God has sent you for a purpose, she said, How I asked ? I will tell you where they are hiding, then you can go live on national TV of your channel and tell the nation where they are hiding, Or are you also frightened like others, who know about their whereabouts but will not talk ? I am giving you a scoop". "Ok, from Shalini I took down the details of the location where these rapists were in hiding also I took down the name of the place in New Delhi"one more thing I asked what way will it help you ? "When the news is picked up by other channels, they will know from their hiding place that they have been exposed, it will flush them out". I did not ask her how she was so confident. "ok, I said I will do whatever you asked me to, "Shalini said give me your cell number," "I gave it to her. I did not want to know anything more, said Thanks for everything and left.
I phoned my boss in Hyderabad and told him about the scoop, I am going to telecast
It from here, sure he said go ahead, do it from our studio, I called the studio head and told him about the scoop, he said everything was ready for telecasting, I then started reporting from the studio, This is Rohan live from "today's news" Just now this channel has received information that the three criminals wanted in the sensational abduction, rape and murder of a school girl are hiding at a hotel in New Delhi, "Hotel stay well " is the name of the hotel, But no arrests have been made yet. As and when this channel receives more information, It will be telecast, Shalini telephoned me and asked if I have reported it, yes I said, thank you, she said by now other channels might have picked it up, "Shalini where are you,? I asked", "Me I am at the location where they are hiding", "Thank you for the scoop, I am leaving come down to Hyderabad whenever you are free, I said" "Sure she said". "I have to go now", "bye she said till we meet again", on that note I left her.The same evening I left for Hyderabad, by flight, next day I reported to my boss. The staff congratulated me on a good story. I relaxed in my office and watched the news, the anchor was reporting, yesterday morning based on breaking news of a news channel which informed the nation of where the rapists where hiding, they were flushed out of their hiding place by police, but instead of surrendering they came out of the place shooting, Shalini Mehta the Inspector in charge of this operation who was waiting there along with her team had asked them to surrender, shot all three in self-defense when the rapists opened fire, Killing all three on the spot, in this encounter Shalini and one member of her team were also injured, they were admitted to the hospital where they are recuperating. This city is proud of this cop and her team, who is different from other cops for she led from the front, faced the rapists, and shot them down, When they tried to flee. I stared at the TV screen for some time, I immediately phoned her, she lifted the phone as if awaiting my call, how are you I asked? "recovering well she said", "you did not tell me you were in the police department", "you did not ask me she said," "Ok there is one more doubt though that is bothering me", "what is it she asked ? "Well being a cop how did you join the protest? "I was off duty
asked my superior whether to join the peaceful protest, I was granted permission, you know how I feel about crimes against women and children. Always remember I am a woman first then a cop". "Ok get well soon I wished her. That is what I meant when I said everything about Shalini was different, she was self-confident, courageous, always at the forefront of any fight for justice, especially in cases where women or children were the victims like the present case in Delhi.Like everyone in the city I too was proud that Shalini was my friend. As she always said "Woman are not some doormats, to be used and thrown." As the bard of Avon put it she would further say "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"