Men in khaki did the police proud

Opinion » Open Page

March 4, 2012

The men in khaki did the police proud

M. G. Warrier

The Hindu

In early 1970s, owning a two-wheeler in Trivandrum was a milestone in a middle class family's growth trajectory. Availing myself of a two-wheeler loan from my employer, I too became a proud owner of a ‘second-hand' Lambretta purchased from my friend who moved to another city on transfer. At that time, the waiting period to get a new scooter was two to three years after booking. Those days city roads were much less crowded and one could move slowly, stop and give way to any faster vehicle, and still be on time at the destination. One could travel from one end to the other end of Trivandrum city by scooter in less than half an hour at 30 kmph! Life was so comfortable.

The happiness was shortlived. One Sunday morning, on reaching home after a short official tour, I was given the bad news that my scooter, kept locked in the car porch, was stolen the previous night. After reporting to police and receiving some negative feedback from the insurance company (a claim would be considered only after police closes the case), I slowly reconciled myself to the pre-scooter modes of conveyance.

Three months passed and during the fourth month, one early morning a colleague from office came to my house with a stranger. He was a constable from the Pollachi (in Tamil Nadu) police station deputed by Circle Inspector Krishnamurthy to trace the owner of a scooter found abandoned on roadside at Pollachi (more than 400 km away from Trivandrum). I was asked to accompany the constable to Pollachi to identify the scooter and do the needful to get it back.

During our journey to Pollachi, the constable explained to me the effort taken by his boss for restoring the scooter to the rightful owner. When the police took possession of the scooter in an abandoned condition on the roadside, the number plates had been painted black and there was no easy way of tracing the owner.

Everyday Krishnamurthy used to inspect the scooter to find any mark of identification on it. The first few days he could locate only the engine/chassis number. One day, he found a faint scribbling ‘KRT 1684' on one side of the spare tire. Taking a chance, he wrote to the Trichur (Kerala) Regional Transport Officer for particulars of ownership of the vehicle. There was no response.

Weeks passed by, but Krishnamurthy's occasional inspection of the scooter continued. One day he opened the panels and, on one of them, saw a scratched writing ‘MSS 2888'. He lost no time writing to the Bombay RTO giving available details and calling for particulars of registration. The Bombay RTO promptly responded, giving the address of the person who originally owned the vehicle. That was the Kerala home address of my friend and collegemate Kuttisankaran, who had sold the scooter to me. Krishnamurthy sent his constable to that address with instruction to meet Kuttisankaran or collect his whereabouts. Kuttisankaran's sister, who was present at the address, told the constable that her brother had sold the scooter sometime ago and he alone would know to whom it was given. The constable, on instruction from Krishnamurthy, obtained the contact number of Kuttisankaran and successfully obtained my Trivandrum office address and from there itself proceeded to Trivandrum.

The day we reached Pollachi was an unusually busy day for Krishnamurthy, as he had just returned from a site where a villager had committed suicide. Still he spent about 20 minutes with me, helping me in completing the identification and arranging for transportation of the scooter to Trivandrum, where a representative of the Pollachi police station was to surrender it to the Magistrate's Court. Krishnamurthy persuaded the same constable, who came in search of me, to accompany the scooter. For all the trouble he took in helping me retrieve my scooter, beyond nice words, the only way to express my gratitude that came to mind was offering him some cash. His response humbled me and I will remember the lesson I learnt that day from Krishnamurthy for my life. He said:

“I appreciate your nice gesture. You are our guest from another State. I do not claim that we, people in khaki, do not accept any gifts offered by someone who is happy with our work. But not from you. If you strongly believe that I have done my duty well, please do convey your feelings to my bosses whose details I will give. If you still want to part with some cash, do support this constable to buy some sweets or gifts for his child when he returns from Trivandrum, after completing the work there.”

The next morning the scooter was surrendered in the court in Trivandrum. I could get it back just by producing an indemnity and surety signed by two of my friends and after almost four months gap, I returned home on my Lambretta.

In compliance with Krishnamurthy's suggestion, I wrote to his bosses appreciating his work and the constable returned to Pollachi a happy man, with some sweets and gifts for his child.

(The writer's email ID is


Thanks for the wonderful article Mr. Warrier. It's articles like these that remind us that good journalism is not always bright, sudden and colorful. It can also come as the silent, subtle piece that can transport us - even fleetingly - into the writer's world and make us empathize with him. Thanks again.

from: Joshi

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 02:59 IST

A nice and moral story. It reminds me the Thirukural "Nallar Oruvar Oleraenum averkenu, peyannum peyyum perumazhai (English: If there is a good person (among many corrupt) atleast for his sake there will be rains always). When most of us feel like no hope for morality, here is a story to remind us. Thanks Mr Warrier.

from: Dr Kannan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 03:02 IST

Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience in the seventies with the

police. I am sure even now there will be many such positive encounters

between public and the police. I wonder why our public never praise

and felicitate the members of our police even when they do excellent

service. Many are willing to spend their time and money to organize

grand functions to praise the people from Bollywood. A cultural change

is needed in our communities where the people on their own, without

any government involvement, start honoring the police and other

officials who do the right thing as part of their service.

from: SK

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 03:58 IST

Am I really reading this or dreaming. I am so overwhelmed with joy that people like Krishnamurthy are still around. I hope his honesty and service was duly rewarded by his department.

from: Subodh

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 04:03 IST

The inciden took place in 1970. 41 years gone! Remembering and

writing about the good people and their work in a leading news paper

shows the BIg Hearts of both Mr. Krishnamoorthy and Mr.M.G.Warrier.

Hats Off.

from: ThannappaNarayanan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 05:18 IST

I am glad that The Hindu has published this story. It is rare to hear good news about Indian police, not because the police do not work well but for years the general attitude has been against them. Everyday, such incidents are repeated- officers work hard to provide a variety of service to citizens all across the country. Unfortunately, a few black sheep and their action ends up painting every khaki into dark black. Good job- Kerala, TN and indeed Indian police.

from: Arvind Verma

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 05:25 IST

It is hard to find such good people these days. Thanks for sharing FEEL


from: Gopi

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 05:26 IST

Hats off to the constable and Mr. Krishnamurthy!!!

from: Sunny Shyam Sundar

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 07:01 IST

Wish you could find that inspector Sri.Krishnamurthy. The story shows how dedicated he was in his job and caring about his juniors. - Jayaraman

from: Jayaraman Vasudevan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 07:12 IST

That was 20th century. There were at least 10 nice police officers out of every 100. Now we are in 21st century. We need a microscope to identify a lone genuine police officer out of a million. I still remember my high school days in my village. That was pre-VAO days. Villages were administered by 'Village Maniyakkarar' and 'Village Kanakkuppillai' who were also residents of the village. They were one of our fellow citizens and did their official duty as a pride. They used to attend all our family functions. They never used to take any bribes. Of course, hearing I was going to college, both of them visited my home and issued 'Community certificate' and one of them even accompanied me to the Tahsildar's office to get it signed.

Recently I visited my very same village for a death of my close relative. We visited the VAO's office to get the death registered. The VAO lived 20 KMs away and bringing him to his office costed us Rs.250 for taxi changes and another Rs.250 bribe.

from: Raja

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 07:54 IST

Guess chances of meeting such policeman/women in this century in India are very slim.

from: Manoj

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 08:10 IST

There are many, good, well behaved people in Police force, even though

sometimes we had bad experience. Recently, I had visited Trivandrum

Control room for some thing - their response, behaviour was quite nice

and helpful. During Sani Peyarchi, we were near Thirunallar, in

Pondichery. There was heavy crowd, vehicles were not allowed near the

temple - were parked at a far off place; when I requested the Police

Inspector that we have come from Kerala to visit different temples, my

wife due to some surgery on the leg could not walk more and things

like that, politely told, even if we go further, there will not be

parking space and asked us to try our luck - we came back without

visiting the temple is a different story. Many a time we fail to

realise that they are also men like us and are under lot of stress in

carrying out their duty.

from: Gopalan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 08:42 IST

Oh,good old days when virtues and morals were considered valuables than money!We have lost our character in the last few decades and the future is very bleak in that sense.

from: Rajendran

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 09:16 IST

I don't know why my mind was conjecturing this article to be a nice

story which never happened. Is it because these incidents don't happen

now-a-days? or is it because we don't see them in our lives or in

media?This article has really made my day and I wish we as an Indian (not

only Police Force) should do what Krishnamurthy did 41 years back.

What I really would like to know Mr. Warrier is that, did you ever get

a reply back from Krishnamurthy bosses? It would be really sad to hear the answer in negative.

from: Faiz

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 11:16 IST

such gestures were not rare and there are aplenty. i remember in 1947 when i was a boy, in my enthusiasm to go fast in my father's bicycle (which he was always afraid to give me for my rash riding i fell down and injured my leg. a passerby policeman took me to the hospital, got the wound stitched and left me and the cycle safe at home after pointing out that there was no back reflector red light even when i took the bike and it would do well to fix one as otherwise we will be fined the next time. It is another story that after a couple of years when i had gone to make a complaint the inspector of that station took me to a hotel and had a sumptuous tiff-in for himself and asked me to pay! It was a coincidence that i was talking to my children this morning mentioning the names of some straightforward extremely honest I P S officers present in our state!

from: n.ramaswami irps

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 11:51 IST

Thanks Mr. Warrier for sharing this incidence with us and thanks to The Hindu for publishing it. Articles like these give hopes to mankind.

from: Maheswar Gopinathan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 12:29 IST

What a refreshing article!!! Really good to read something positive after so long time. There are a lot more policemen and officials who are working day and night to serve us. I know most of us have some or the other incident flashing in our mind about our police. Waiting to read more stories like this :)

from: Navneet

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 12:37 IST

Thanks Mr Warrier: 42 yrs over. still many krishnamurthys are there. But we dont find many warrier to recognize the good work and to appreciate.

Even warriers are there, there should be good News Paper to publish it. Thanks The hindu

from: xavier

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 12:42 IST

Thank you Sir...The inspector's action were so moving and inspiring. I just wonder where he would be and just wish he too would be reading this article. Apart from the morals of your article, I have also learned quite a few things for my budding career. In my profession, there are several instances in which the clients wants to give freebies/gifts when they are happy with our performance...I always felt awkward to receive it.Now I Know how to handle it, thanks to your article.

from: R.Cherian

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 13:55 IST

Its nice to know that people are not forgotten for their really good deeds. The inspector (may his tribe increase) represents a part of our soul which we long for. I can Assure you that we still have folks like them around us and we will evolve as a society and country. GOd bless him

from: Ajay Mishra

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 14:50 IST

thanks sir. feels nice to read such anecdotes. reinforces the faith in human race.

from: raghunandan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 15:32 IST

Thank you Warrier sir for sharing the nice personal experience. Coming from a family of a honest Senior Police officer and knowing the India that was from my grandparents, I miss the good old India with its values. Even 10-15 years ago values were very much evident in society, which can now only be seen in few good people.

from: Dilip

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 15:37 IST

A good endeavor indeed of a good man in kakhi. Lets his tribe flourish.


Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 16:20 IST

This kind of narration helps people to repose faith in society, particularly in police personnel. Well done Mr.Warrier! I find 'Thiruvananthapuram' is much beautiful than Trivandrum.

from: mvrangaraajan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 16:38 IST

It is heartening to read about the pain, determination Mr. Krishnamurthy had taken to reach a two wheeler to its true owner from all the way from Pollachi to Trivandrum. My sincere salutes to this dutiful Police Official, who made all the men in Khakhi to be proud. Here, we just cannot forget those corrupt leaches in the country who expect something to move a paper from his desk to the next.

from: K S Iyer

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 16:46 IST


from: Abdul Majeed

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 17:38 IST

Sir, The article on 'The men in khaki did the police proud' made an interesting read. The efforts taken by the police in locating the owner of the scooter who lost it in Trivananathapuram some four decades ago is laudable.Such honest and duty bound officers are conspicuous by their absence today due to various factors like money, political influence, reservations etc., which is plays an important role in the selection of candidates for the police, teachers, judges and all. This trend should change. Secondly there should be a model code of conduct for all including the politicians in discharging ones duties efficiently with proper in- training.


Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 17:39 IST

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story. There are still lot of good cops around but the ratio of good and bad reduced a lot. Corruption is prevalent in the Police department, no doubt about it. But the wrong doing and corrupt behavior of some policemen should not be generalized for complete department. I liked the story very much. We need to see the good people and encourage this type of stories so that role models can be developed. As in the movie 'Enemy at the gates' it was emphasized that creating role models will encourage people to fight. Same apply with Indian Police.

from: Tarun Gupta

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 18:11 IST

Thank you sir for this nice article. It lifted my spirits.

from: Sarasan Se

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 18:17 IST

So many fellow readers have praised a good human being. It seems we have come to believe that the natural characters of person are insincere, selfish, greedy and unhelpful This is the easiest thing to believe, because that belief will justify ones own insincerity and selfishness. There are many many people who are sincere and selflessly help his fellow beings. Believe that and live that way.

from: Sumesh Soman

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 18:31 IST

It is lovable to see that there are such nice people in police as well.

from: Ashok gupta

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 18:54 IST

Sir, first of all thanks for remembering and sharing these nice moments in your life. This world becomes heaven if there are more Circle Inspector like Krishnamurthy, his constable and M. G. Warrier. Anyway at least we can fully fill our duty with devotion and sincerity to make this world more wonderful.

from: HMV

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 19:11 IST

Refreshingly nice article. I would like to narrate an incident which happened in Mount Road, Chennai some years ago. I was riding my scooter in the busy road and in a turn my lunch bag had fallen on the road. Unknowingly, I was riding my scooter when I was hearing blaring of horns of cars trying to catch my attention. After a km, a driver of a car pointed to the road and signaled that something had fallen from my scooter. Only then I realised that my lunch bag was missing. When i turned my scooter back more than a km to that place, I asked the traffic constable about any lunch bag found on the road. Luckily, the policeman had picked it up and kept it separately. He returned the lunch bag, much to my surprise. I had to hurriedly thank him and mentally salute the driver of car for alerting me.

from: P Sreenivasan

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 21:47 IST

Its really nice to see such a story. Now also we have people like

this but we and our media are only busy to highlight corrupt

officials. Article of this kind will surely encourage our

government officials to be honest and helpful , who are otherwise

only busy listening bad things about them . Publish such stories

for incidents in today's world also.

from: Alok Sharma

Posted on: Mar 4, 2012 at 22:29 IST

Thank you for this wonderful article.Its nice to know that people are

not forgotten for their really good deeds

from: rishabh khare

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 00:23 IST

I was curious why he waited so long to write this article. Did some other act of honesty remind him of this incidence or did Mr Warrier just start his literary activities?. We in India are very critical of our policemen who do the best they can even when they are poorly paid, ill equipped and often ordered around by corrupt politicians who are in turn under the influence of criminals and crooks. More power to the honest worker at all levels. More Krishnamurthy's are around and lets hope that people like him will take over the world one day !.

Politicians, policemen and other public servants all over the world can be corrupt and this story just made my day!.

from: Raj Warrier

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 00:42 IST

The story made my day

from: MG

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 09:51 IST

wonderful. it is because of such honest and duty minded police officers we are still protected and have high hope. kudos to the police officer and the entire team. thanks mr warrier to share this article.

from: vasudevan

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 10:57 IST

Delightful Read, makes me hopeful! so what if it happened 42yrs ago,i am sure,that even today, there must be many men in Khakhi who can be brought out in public light for there good deeds by many Warrier's out there! Thanks... The Hindu.

from: KP

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 12:08 IST

I am so glad Mr Warrier has highlighted the painstaking and devoted work that Circle Inspector Krishnamurthy did. We seldom come across such pieces about government officials, even less so about police officers. This is indeed a positive story in the middle of ones of corruption and inefficiency. Thanks, 'The Hindu'and Mr Warrier.

from: aloke lal

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 12:52 IST

As a former policeman, I am overwhelmed that Shri Warrier penned this story,that too so long after it happened.There are similar stories of simplicity and honesty among ordinary policemen which some of us recall from our working days, but rarely bother to put down in writing. I am also pleasantly surprised by the large, positive reader response, unusual for a story on the Police.To paraphrase the Thirukural passage quoted by Dr. Kannan, let there be showers of blessings on the good people in this country, whether from the police or the public.

from: P. K. H. Tharakan

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 13:07 IST

Thanks to everyone who have read the article and made comments which I value immensely. Hindu deserves a special thanks for publishing the article.I am not purposely answering certain querries raised by some as I should leave something to their immagination after telling a 'true' story.

from: M G Warrier

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 14:52 IST

It is heartening to see such good stories find place in newspapers. When I was a student, my fellow student missed his bag containing important certificates etc in a bus in Karaikudi. The sub-inspector there consoled the student, made contacts with other police stations, tracked the bus down and got his bag retrieved. Not only that, he personally travelled in bike and got the bag and restored to the student. All this, while he could've just asked to fill a complaint and let the investigation take its time.

from: Naru

Posted on: Mar 5, 2012 at 16:37 IST

This story is really a great way to appreciate the honesty of the men in Khaki and I believe this is not the only honest man in Khaki, there would be many more doing their duty without any limelight. Kudos to the writer and also the hope that he brings.

from: Rakesh Bisht

Posted on: Mar 6, 2012 at 11:48 IST

Hats off to Krishnamurthy and the constable. There are few people who

are really honest in the police department and it is our duty to bring

them into the limelight, great job warrier.

from: sai krishna

Posted on: Mar 7, 2012 at 09:23 IST

Indeed, the chance of meeting an honest and dedicated policeman like this

nowadays are slim, even in the less corrupt South (I am a North Indian by the way).

But the same is true of other people, not just policeman.

In my travels around the world, I have had a chance to see honest and dishonest

officials. But none can make the Japanese. When I forgot my bag with valuables

and three cameras in the train, I got it back within an hour even though I spoke no

Japanese and none of the people I turned to could speak English!

I suppose that society as a whole needs to truly encourage sincerity, honesty and

civic responsibility. As we say in the North somewhat cynically, the Bhagavad Gita

is not meant to be read, it is meant to be read to the others.

from: Vivek

Posted on: Mar 7, 2012 at 18:00 IST

My salute to our 1970 khakis,

Old is gold. Life is happiness.

Mr.krishnamoorthy you brought happiness in many families through khaki.

You'll be remembered for ever.

from: Adhi

Posted on: Mar 9, 2012 at 00:10 IST

It is commendable that the Circle Inspector Mr.Krishnamurthy took pains to trace out the owner of the vehicle. Such folks give hope that truth shall win and honesty still prevails in the society. It is an irony that we preach high standards in our schools but it is difficult to practice them in real life. Mr.Krishnamurthy is a beacon of hope here.

from: Vasu

Posted on: Mar 9, 2012 at 02:33 IST

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