‘Unbounded’: Ex-cop Abhayanand’s experiences with law, physics and the Super 30: The Tribune India
POLICING involves using the law and applying scientific methods of investigation to solve crack cases. Abhayanand, former DGP of Bihar, entered the police world with the mindset of a physicist, becoming an unconventional officer. In his memoir, he describes his life as a cop in a state known for its caste and political complexities as well as the crime graph.
The book tells what it takes to be effective when your resources are exhausted and solving a crime is like going out against the odds. He writes about routine policing, supervising cases of murder, robbery, and political protests, inspecting police stations, and dealing with senior and junior officials. Challenging the status quo has proven useful in his profession. His investigative spirit led him to also serve a term in the CBI. The book contains some interesting stories – like the one of the district judge informing a young trainee officer like himself that an officer may be convinced that nothing is happening behind his back, but may not know what is happening under his nose. The author says he has found the laws of physics more powerful than police lathi in solving crimes. Unconventional approaches have brought answers, as well as popularity, but approval from higher authorities? Not always.
The author describes his thoughts on Naxalism when, on an experimental basis, he began to take over land from a suspect, supervising him himself as superintendent of police. He says that the poor are neither for nor against the state.
A man with a pedigree – his father was also a DGP – he says that as an ASP, he asked the State DGP for a vehicle to help him reach his place of employment, a request that did not was not accepted. The DGP said that if Britons could come to India and find their way through the country, he should have no trouble finding his place of work.
He describes his penchant for physics and his penchant for teaching the subject in his free time and how together with Anand Kumar, a math teacher, he set up the Super 30 to coach students from underprivileged sections to enable them to study in leading engineering institutes like IITs. . However, since he did not have business considerations in mind and teaching students in large numbers could get him in trouble with the government, he parted ways. There are positive mentions of senior officers like JM Lyngdoh and Lalit Vijay Singh, who became Minister of State for Defense in the Chandra Shekhar cabinet.
The author may not be the first cop to pen a memoir, but his strength lies in staying true to his turf, knowing his job, and speaking up when it matters.
The book is an engaging read, especially for those interested in the affairs of a state that has generated as much interest as it is an enigma.