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Humour in Uniform

Compiled by Mr.V.VAIKUNTH, IPS. ( Retd ). Former DGP TN, based on his own personal experience.

In certain districts of Tamil Nadu, there is a superstitious sentiment in Police Stations that if the calendar year starts with a case U/s 174CrPC - covering unnatural deaths, that would augur well for the station through out that year !

The author has seen the visiting notes of the then British IG during his visit to the then Budalur out post now a police station in Thanjavur Dist. on a Sunday morning: I find the Head constable in charge of the outpost enjoying his oil bath near the out-post well. Let me not disturb him!


When the author was undergoing training as Inspector of Police in charge of Thiruvayaru Circle, the then Addl SP in the absence of SP who was on leave, was scheduled to come for inspection at 7.30.a.m. one morning but landed only at 7.30 Pm. that evening. The undesirable, though resourceful SI devoted disciple of the ADSP organized the Petromax lights that are being carried for wedding processions along with the bearers, and the parade inspection was held with Petromax bearers also marching with the squad. The matter was brought to the notice of the SP on his return from leave. The SP not only issued a memo to the ADSP calling for his explanation but also cut the Addl SP's DA for that day!

There was a case of murder in one of the stations Virudhachalam sub-division when the author visited the scene of occurrence and the murder had happened during the twilight of the day. The SI pleaded ignorance as to whether it was during the twilight or at that time, whether the sun was setting or the moon was rising because he hailed from a Dist. down South!

In the Virudhachalam station, the skeleton of a Traveling Ticket Examiner who was murdered by his paramour was exhumed. The then SI Ramachandran, after seeing the skeleton fainted and he had to given first aid. He fell ill with fever for three days thereafter complaining that the skeleton came in his dreams!

In Namakkal Sub-division, during the anti-Hindi agitation, there was police - firing in Namakkal when Stracey as DIG visited the scene. The then Inspector Rahman on sighting Mr. Stracey froze like a Robot and was walking with both his hands on his side warranting Stracey to comment , 'Unwind him'. He walks in like a dead man from the grave !

In South Arcot when the author was the SP in 1969 immediately after Anna's death, there was a condolence meeting in Anna Stadium Cuddalore abutting the main highway from Pondicherry to Chidambaram via Cuddalore. A car was found rushing in a haphazard way from Pondicherry as though it was run on alcohol!

A former MLA who was fully drunk drove the car and he was flaunting a liquor bottle in his hand. We had to arrest the MLA and the driver and impound the car etc. On seeing the news the next day; the then Chief Minister summoned me and was asking for the details When I was narrating the details, he quipped and asked me as to what was the brand of the liquor. I had to plead ignorance!

When the author was the DCP Law and order (South), there was an interesting episode of 'Vinayaga Idol' planted in the land abutting the Mambalam Police Station, where a Mosque was to be constructed. It was later established that it was an Idol planted by a Head Constable of that station who was a devout Hindu nicknamed as 'Om Nama Shivaya' Head Constable as he was always found murmuring those words. This was done only to thwart attempt to build a Mosque in that land. He made it appear as though it was 'Suyambu' idol - something which has come on its own from beneath the earth' To make it realistic, he organized crackers from Sivakasi. The whole thing was done during the dead of the night and it drew large crowds from the next morning as people attach lot of religious significance to such idols, which are supposed to have emerged from the earth on their own.Inspector Huggins who was living in the quarters nearby when interrogated by the author, knelt down, looked up the sky and said 'Sir, It is a heavenly glory without realizing that it was a planted idol. It showed the blind faith of people no matter what religion they belong to on such occurrence. Ultimately the Head Constable was dismissed and the idol was recovered. Being a case property and no claimant, the idol disappeared the same way it appeared! The Mosque never materialized.

When the author was DCP (L& O), a VVIP visited the city. Normally the control room keeps announcing the movements of the VVIP to other officers on duty. When the VVIP was passing through the then Abbotsburry in Teynampet, the message from the control room was as follows :

Sir, the VVIP has passed away near Abbotsburry'

That VVIP did pass away but many years later !

One former MLA of Coimbatore Dist had resorted to use of fire arms and injured Several people in a case of rioting and sped away to Madras. This happened when the author was the SP - Coimbatore Dist. He had him arrested at Madras from the MLAS' hostel and had him brought to Coimbatore and remanded him to the Central Prison, Coimbatore. The MLA came out on bail on the orders of the High Court much later. At that time the then Chief Master happened to visit Coimbatore The author was narrating the incident graphically to the CM when the MLA entered the room of the Chief Moister to call on him The MLA was wearing a copper Kangan 'Bangle' on his left hand 'Kangan' In Tamil Kappu. On seeing the MLA wearing this Kappu the then C M remarked ' What only recently the SP put a Kappu on your hands - (meaning 'hand cuffs') and had you lodged in the Central Prison As if you are not satisfied with that you are having another Kappu on your left hand'

On 2nd October, 1971, the then Government suspended the Prohibition Act- euphemism for scrapping the dry law. There were a lot of preliminary Items of work to be gone through prior to that. One senior IAS officer was posted as Excise Commissioner and he was on that job .The author as the Dy. Commissioner of Law & Order attended the meeting of senior officials on 30th September 1971 in which the senior IAS official reeled off statistics of the excise revenue and gallon age fees that would accrue to the Government exchequer consequent on lifting the Prohibition in the state So saying the senor officer said I feel dizzy and my head reels on working out these statistics. This promptly drew forth a repartee from the then Chief Minister who said:We are suspending the prohibition off only from 2nd October how is that your head reels and you feel dizzy even now onwards which evoked peals of laughter all over.

The same Excise Commissioner hosted a meeting of Excise Commissioners of Southern States in Chennai immediately thereafter which did the author among others attend. During the lunch there were a lot of pot-shots at the same Excise Commissioner from his colleagues from other States about the alleged interference in the Tamil Nadu The reply from the Excise Commissioner was typical of him as any amount of denial would not convince others. He said : We anticipate what they (political bosses) expect us to do and do it ourselves Hence there is no question of interference Needless to say the other colleagues were looking dumbfounded.

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