Srinagar, August 14: Rakesh Kumar Sharma and Vikramjit Singh of Chirdi in Udhampur who caught a militant on August 5 were given cash awards and jobs but this unsung hero, Kuldip Kumar of Ansi Top in Batote who performed same act of bravery three years ago still awaits the job and award.
On the night of March 27, 2012, Sher Khan and Abdullah escaped from the Patnitop jungle when they were allowed to answer the call of nature without handcuffs by the policemen escorting them. They were on way from a Kishtwar court to the Central Jail in Udhampur.
“On the afternoon of March 28, a sub-inspector and other policemen came to my house and asked me if I had seen any suspicious person,” said Kuldip.
“The sub-inspector made me talk to then Doda SP MA Rishu from his cellphone. He promised me a constable’s job and a cash reward if I could help in catching Sher Khan alive,” he said.
“After I reached Ansi Top alone after a two-hour trek and threw stones into the bushes of a deep gorge, Sher Khan crawled out and threatened to kill me,” said Kuldip.
“Without caring whether he was armed, I pounced upon him. I threw him on a rock, rendering him unconscious. Policemen reached the spot later on hearing my shouts and arrested him,” he added.
“On reaching NH1B, the SP hugged me and took me to the Assar police station. He asked me to visit his office in Doda after a week. I was asked to join as SPO through an order dated April 17, 2012,” he said.
Kuldip feels betrayed as despite catching absconding Lashkar-e-Toiba divisional commander Sher Khan, he was denied the promised constable’s job and a cash reward.
“Feeling betrayed, I turned down the offer. I had risked my life for the country. After the incident, my parents who were scared sent me to Jammu,” Kuldip said.
He alleged that his representations to then DIG Garib Dass, IGP Dilbagh Singh and officiating DGP K Rajendra had proved futile.
“I do not deny his role, but he only caught an unarmed under trial. He deserved to be made SPO. I had promised to recommend him for constable’s post if he applied for it,” said MA Rishu.
“Kuldip must have got some solace now as he has been recently selected as soldier in the Territorial Army,” he added.
Image Courtesy: The Tribune