Here I recollect an interesting anecdote for Campbell Bay, port town of Great Nicobar Island, area 1045 square kilometer, approximately size of Delhi, lying in Bay of Bengal.This is last outlying frontier of Indian Republic, its latitude is below that of Kanyakumari, erstwhile Cape Comorin on Indian mainland, generally referred as the southernmost point of India.
Between Indira point, former Pygmalion point on Great Nicobar and Sabang island, part of Sumatra region, Indonesian archipelago is a vital passage. Malacca straits one of the world’s busiest shipping channel squeezes through Malaysia towards north and Indonesian islands on south.
After engaging in a grueling spell of “mock sea war maneuvers” lasting several weeks.The valiant Indian Navy sailors emerged out of tough turbulent waters of inhospitable Andaman Sea, in a visible state of highly haggard and harassed contours. Once their Russian built frigate along with other ships lay at anchor, there was an unprecedented fervor among them for once again stepping back on the solid firm ground.All zealous sailors were granted much awaited “liberty” by their commanding officer, for one complete day.
This instance been looked by them keenly for rejuvenation of their depleted mental discomfiture, seasoned by their discordant sea sojourn.They descended on this modest shanty town inhabited by around 5000 humans, in a form of a small storming avalanche.Moving around this miniscule township, making worthwhile utilization of their temporary earned short lived freedom in a delightful manner.
A few consumed alcholic drinks much beyond their capacity, for viewing the world from a high elevated pedestal. One of them in a state of high intoxication after involving in a frivolous altercation with bystanders, unsuccessfully attempted to molest a lady. After being caught by alert locals, this motley gathering of locals and naval personnel in form of a crazy cavalcade started proceeding towards the police station.Meanwhile some of his ‘comrades-in-arms’ came forward in a surcharged combative mood rushing forward for his rescue.There was a rowdy commotion, the police patrol party not used to handle such a abnormal situation, were in a state of consternation.
Since, I happened to be camping in the town, available within their approachable range they sought my advise. The prodigal sailor meanwhile had been lodged in lockup, after recording a factual report in the police daily diary.The inebriated seaman kept on shouting at, abusing and cursing the local policemen in highly foul derogatory language. His colleagues engaged in a fierce war of words with the Station house officer (SHO)..
On contacting their CO, we informed him about commission of a grave misconduct of one of his personal. Our reckless high riding uniformed friend, who happened to be from Rajasthan kept on blustering.
“I am a brave Rajput, from the land of chivalry, frightened civil police has transformed a fearless Ranthambore tiger, into a humiliating pussy cat, by insultingly caging him in a disrespectful police lockup”.
Continuing with his rhetoric ,”just once let me out of here and see a practical exhibition of my valorous gallantry”.
“My Commanding officer (CO), as soon as he learns about my wrongful confinement, would come along with his full force and raze your formidable police station to smithereens”.
“Be suitably warned you civil policemen, we brave navy personnel possess a heavy devastating firepower”.
Talkingwith the CO, we explained circumstances of sailor’s detention, further suggesting him that registration of police case would certainly jeopardize his hard earned lucrative defence job. Opining him to take disciplinary action as he deemed fit, at his own behest, against the delinquent combatant. Being in uniformed service our aim was simply to make delinquent realize his serious mistake and not to deprive him of an adventurous sustainable livelihood.
Shortly two burly naval policemen appeared carrying truncheons, they parading him back to their fortified vessel in a full public view. To be incarcerated safely in “quarter guard” situated within the safe bastions of their “Man-of-War”.
This action straightaway had a positively soothing effect not only on the complainant, plus the entire crowd of an overwhelmed bewildered locals. Such judicious handling easily helped us in defusing a really bad stuation, from turning into a worse unsavory scenario. Though this was a case concerning member of a disciplined force, such instances do occur in our everyday lives.If we sincerely desire, such prickly tricky situations can be sagaciously handled and amicably settled.
(A true story, from mid eighties days, shared by HPS Virk, a former Deputy Commissioner of Police)