The Brave Cornered The Burglar
by Vaman Acharya
(Bengaluru, Karnataka, India)
It was 8 a m in Pavanpur town. The sky was cloudy and rain was expected any moment. A young lady was standing before the main gate of the big building 'Manasa Sarovar'. She was pressing the calling bell button. Kanaka Durga, owner of the building, opened the gate. She knew that maid Manjari had come to attend the work. Apart from Manjari, there were four maids and one security guard working. One ferocious dog prevents newcomers from entering. The house is a spacious surrounded by a vast open area with tall trees and plants. She told Manjari to bring urgent needs of the grocery from the nearby shop. Manjari requested to wait five minutes. Kanaka thought Manjari might be watering the plants. She didn't come even after ten minutes. Kanaka again called her. There was no response from Manjari. Kanaka became angry and came out. She saw Manjari open the main gate and moved fast outside. Her movement was suspicious.
Why was Manjari acting in a suspicious manner?
This was the first occasion that Manjari left the house without informing the owner. Kanaka was unable to know the strange attitude of Manjari. She rushed to the room, where godrej safe was kept. The safe was open and empty. Gold ornaments and cash was missing. Documents were thrown on the ground. Kanaka felt very much for the loss of valuables. Without wasting time she went to the police station and lodged a complaint against Manjari. She gave Manjari's address and mobile number to police inspector Ratnakar Shanbhag. Observing her worry, Ratnakar instructed two constables to bring Manjari from her hut. The constables went to the hut mates' colony on a motorbike. One of the constables enquired an old man, who was standing near the petty shop. He denied having seen the lady. The constables were in a dilemma, whether to continue efforts to search Manjari or go back with disappointment?
It was difficult to search due to the closeness of huts. Their efforts to find Manjari were in vain and informed the same to the boss and left the place. To their surprise, Manjari was in the police station sitting before Ratnakar Shanbhag. He told the constables not to come inside till he completes interrogation with Manjari. He further told them not to tell the ladies outside about the presence of Manjari here.
A small group of women led by Kanaka Durga were on silent and peaceful protest outside the police station. Kanaka was unaware that Manjari was inside.
How did Manjari come to the police station?
These educated women were holding the play cards with two demands: arrest the thief and return gold and cash to the owner. Ratnakar was impressed to see the women protesters and their unique way of protest. He had already advised the victim to wait outside. The interrogation with Manjari was over in just half an hour. Her revelation was helpful to the
police to arrest the thief. She was asked to be in the office in a separate room. Manjari was not a thief and a key witness in the burglary.
Whose name revealed as a thief?
Manjari's neighbour Manikant was a thief. Another interesting fact was Manjari and Manikant
going to marry after a fortnight. In the morning, she went to the adjacent room for sweeping. In that room Godrej's safe was kept. She saw Manikant open the safe with duplicate keys and took all the gold ornaments and cash in his bag. She wondered how this man entered here after passing the tight security and ferocious dog? She protested Manikant not to steal otherwise, and ready for severe punishment. Manikant tried to convince her as this booty would help them to lead a happy life. She expressed her anguish and told him to keep everything back in the safe. She advised him to work hard and earn money. But he didn't listen to Manjari and left very fast with the booty. Her right hand was injured and the blood was flowing in the scuffle. Manjari took a piece of cloth lying there and tied it to stop the blood flowing. She followed Manikant till the hut mates' colony. He was riding a scooter and she was running fast. After reaching her colony, she alerted all the residents in the colony and caught Manikant with the booty. Manjari took the booty and told the residents to tie him with rope till she comes back. After this incident of burglary, Manjari rejected him as a life partner.
Manikant was a good person and happy with the petty business in the hut mates' colony. He had skills in making duplicate keys. He wanted to become rich overnight. Being an expert in breaking open the locker, he opened the Godrej's safe in Kanaka Durga's building. It was his first attempt of burglary. He failed and landed in a jail.
Ratnakar called Kanaka Durga inside and handed over the gold ornaments and cash after the due procedure.
"Madam Kanaka, you must appreciate your maid Manjari, who did exemplary work and exhibited bravery. I salute her bravery and timely action,"said Ratnakar.
He revealed the entire happenings right from theft to arresting the thief.
"Where is Manjari sir? I am very much eager to meet her," asked Kanaka.
Manjari came from another room. Out of emotion, Kanaka hugged Manjari and expressed thanks for the wonderful work she did.
At the same time, Manikant was brought to the police station and kept in custody for further enquiry. This burglary happened on Friday 20th October, 2000 and the case was disposed of within a record time of eight hours.
Bravery of Manjari had become the talk of the town. She was honoured by the police department in a function arranged by the town municipality.
Fortune always favours the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself. ***