What can be the effect of these incidents on a police constable who is performing his duty in a difficult situation like blood, murder, stoning, violent mob and riots?
The answer for most people will be nothing special.
But, this did not happen with a constable. During the year 2002, several kar sevaks were killed in the fire in the Sabarmati Express in Godhra.
After that, the massacre in Ahmedabad’s Naroda Patia area in the riots spread in the state was so fierce that the police constable Pradeep Singh Vaghela, who was witness to him, still takes anti-depressant medicines. Their weight is now 129 kg.
Not forgotten even today
Pradeep Singh was on duty when the massacre was taking place in Naroda Patia area in the 2002 riots.
They saved that day by protecting many Muslims from the violent crowd. He also performed the last rites of burnt people.
Pradeep Singh Vaghela has had such an impact on the violence in these riots that he was mentally broken. The condition became so bad that he began to swing between life and death.
Pradeep Singh has not forgotten that day even today. They also changed their official residence in the area and took it somewhere else.
He told about the situation in that time in conversation with BBC Gujarati correspondent Vaibhav Parikh.
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I still remember that day, my duty was with Naroda Patiya. I was working for years in the Sardar Nagar police station and lived in the nearby police line.
Naroda and the people around me knew me so I was kept here on duty. Then there was no riots there.
In the morning there was peace and the Gujarat closure was announced. Thousands of crowds were shutting down the shops.
All was calm, but the crowd was gradually increasing. More than five thousand people had landed on the road but the riots did not begin yet. The slogans looked and the crowd was growing.
Between 11 a and a half o’clock a Muslim came out with a Tata 407. Then I was standing there.
When the crowd tried to stop the train, then the man got on the train crowd. In it one person got buried under the car and then the condition worsened.
The crowd broke up, who did not understand where to stop. People started rocking.
The stones of Ahmad Hussain’s movement near Naroda Patia started throwing stones. The crowd gathered in front of it also began to stone. Then the police was too low to handle them.
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The crowd was getting uncontrollable
The police left tear gas shells. Some officials firing in order to control the crowd, but could not be controlled.
Who did not understand who was in the crowd. It was not known who was throwing stones.
Then there it spread that a boy’s leg and leg was thrown off and put on a trunk and left on the road. Now the stress has increased.
The houses and the shops were burning in flames. All the police officers were there. I was having a call from feminine that many people were stuck there.
Feminine said that save me I and other police officers were helpless because we were engaged in trying to control the riot outside.
After six o’clock in the evening, we got into the streets of Naroda Patia where the burnt bodies were lying. There was no one to carry the corpses.
I and my colleagues put many corpses into an ambulance. An eight-year-old boy’s hand was noticed among those corpses.
His shirt was completely burned. I took him out and watered. His half face was burnt. I took him to the hospital immediately.
We went out at night at one o’clock while taking out the people there. We sent them to the relief camp.
That night I was confused between the panchanama and the identity of the corpses. I do not remember how I handled that child. His name was Yunus or Yasin.
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Could not save the people in your area
“I felt like I could not save the people of my area.
Whether he was a Hindu or a Muslim, he was in the border of my police station. My father was a policeman too. He taught me that saving a person alive is above the law.
I was sleepy and stopped at night Sleep a little while and see the burning houses in the dream and hear the screams of people and I woke up awake.
I was very irritable. I did not feel like talking to anyone.
Violence was continuing in Ahmedabad. It was imposed curfew. But the same thing always goes on in my mind that despite being a policeman, I could not save the people.
People called me and I could not help them. ”
I could not even speak
“I was bored of eating food. If someone talked about food then I got angry.
Gradually, I started losing weight. I had to go to the burnt shops and houses repeatedly and I used to remember the same.
Seeing my condition, my officers sent me to the medical leave. My family was also in tension. Then I had to get admission in civil hospital.
I have been lying on the hospital bed. My salary was also stopped and because my wife did not know that medical leave has to be reported.
I could not even tell him because I could not speak. ”
“The debt also increased on me and the condition of the house worsened. When the colleagues informed me about the officials, they stopped the salaries.
Slowly I was fine But I was mentally broken. My officers told me that if I were posted in the traffic department, I would have less trouble or make me a reader.
In order to save the people in Naroda Patiya, President Abdul Kalam called me and also praised him.
I started working again in PCR van and when I met people, my passion returned.
My cure was going on and due to the medicines, my weight was very strong. My weight has gone from 70 to 129 kg. But, my ability to run is still the same. ”
Pradeep Singh’s wife
Pradeep Singh’s wife said, “My husband is the most important person for me, so I had mortgaged all my jewelery. Children’s education was also affected due to the difficulties in the treatment of her husband.
Regarding Pradeep Singh, In-charge of Gujarat Police Welfare Hospital, Dr. Hina Trivedi told : “Information about mental illness treatment is kept private. So I can not explain this in detail. ”
However, Pradeep Singh explains that he still takes anti-depressant medicines. But, now their condition has improved considerably and they are working as traffic police.
Dr. Gopal Bhatia, a psychiatrist associated with the Gujarat Police Welfare Hospital, aware of Pradeep Singh Vaghela’s case told the BBC that his weight could increase with Anti-Depression Drug.
“After such mental torture, a psychological psychological defense has been established, which has led to a positive attitude toward his mental problem.”