Fit at 45, assistant commissioner of police (south) Sandeep Wadhera raced a kilometre through a crowded Feroze Gandhi Market here on Tuesday to catch a snatcher and recover a woman’s bag containing Rs 1.37 lakh cash.
Around 11am, gas-agency employee Deepika had come to the market to deposit this money in a bank. As she parked her scooter outside, two men tried to grab her bag. She fought for it until its handle came off and she lost it to one of the miscreants.
At her raising the alarm, ACP Wadhera, who was crossing the market with his gunman, spotted the fleeing snatcher, jumped off his vehicle, and sprinted after the man. The officer was in his uniform.
After 600-odd metres of pursuit on foot, he borrowed a passerby’s motorcycle to go after the thief. He grabbed him and his gunman also got there in his official vehicle. “We then called the police station concerned,” said the ACP.
The accused, Jaswinder Singh (23), is from Tarn Taran. Cops from Division Number 5 took him in and booked him. A hunt is on for his accomplice, Jagdish Singh. Police came to know that Citibank guard Mandeep Singh, known to Jaswinder Singh on account of also being from Tarn Taran, had tipped him about the woman, that she would be carrying cash to the branch like every day. He had called him to Ludhiana just to attack this soft target.
The market is always crowded and chasing anyone through it is a difficult hurdle race. “The area is not in my jurisdiction,” Wadhera said. “But as a police officer, I can’t let a criminal escape.” A chase sequence from the movies. And said like a hero.