Hundreds of police officers retire from Kerala Police every year. But a police officer’s retirement at Ottapalam police station in Palakkad this March 31 turned out to be a rarest event in police history when he along with his colleagues presented a gold chain to a complainant.
An elderly woman was presented with the new gold chain after the officer and his team couldn’t trace her missing gold chain despite conducting a probe.
The act of kindness shown by Sub Inspector P V Govind Prasad and the other police personnel left the 68-year-old woman in tears who have been frequenting the police station since February 2021 enquiring about the status of her case which was registered based on her complaint.
It was in September 2021 that Govind Prasad, a native of Parali in Palakkad, got transferred to Ottapalam Police Station. The elderly woman’s gold chain missing case was handed over to him by his superior. “I conducted a detailed probe after collecting the statement of the woman who hails from Pazhambalakkad in Palakkad. Though we questioned a few persons in connection with the incident, we couldn’t get a clear lead in the case,” Govind Prasad told “Open Digest”.
As per the statement of the woman, she had gone to Ottapalam Taluk Hospital in the month of February 2021 after she had some illness. The doctor directed her to take an X-ray at the hospital. She remembers removing her gold chain for taking the X-ray and since then it had gone missing. As there was no CCTV surveillance at the hospital, police couldn’t get any evidence to concur her statement. “We also questioned the staff at the X-ray section, but couldn’t get any info from them,” said Govind Prasad, who retired after 33 years of service.
What really moved Govind Prasad and the other police personnel was that the woman never accused any one of stealing her gold chain, but gave the complaint requesting the police to find the missing gold chain which was the only valuable possession in her life.
The woman lives alone in a small house doing odd jobs. Her only daughter got married and stays at some other place with her husband. “She used to come to the police station every month to know the status of the case, travelling around 30 kms. On the last day of my service, she came to the police station as usual to check with me the status of the case. When I saw her, I told my senior officer that I was willing to buy a gold chain for her as a gift from me on my retirement day. Soon, the 53 police personnel working at the station also contributed money and we bought a gold chain for her,” he said.
The gold chain was handed over to the woman by Govind Prasad himself at the send off function organised by his colleagues at the police station.