Delhi: Cop takes bullet to save young colleague

NEW DELHI: In the middle of a furious gunfight with gangsters on Sunday, Bijender Singh Deshwal used his body as a shield and took a bullet meant for a younger 25-year-old colleague, head constable Gurdeep Singh, who had become a father three months ago, according to Deshwal’s son, Ashish.

Deshwal was shot near the chest in the firefight with Rajesh Bharti and three members of his gang. After the four gangsters had been killed, another SI, Raj Singh, drove six of his colleagues to a nearby hospital despite being shot in the arm.

Deshwal’s son, and Raj Singh’s son, Akshay Choudhary, learnt of their fathers’ heroism from the others after the encounter. Komal Kadayan, a final year MBBS student at Safdarjung Hospital, meanwhile, had her first experience of tending to a patient with gunshot wounds on Friday: her father. Krishan Kadayan was part of the special cell team involved in the shootout. Kadayan had asked his family to sleep early the night before the encounter as he had to wake up early and leave for some “office work”.

My father left home at 4.30 am on Saturday citing some important work. In the afternoon, I received a phone call from him wherein he said he was coming to the hospital due to some accident,” Komal said. He was taken to the AIIMS Trauma Centre where Komal joined the medical team.

On Sunday, special commissioner of police (special cell) M M Oberoi and DCP (special cell) Pramod Kushwaha visited the injured cops and took stock of the situation.

“It was a moment of dual emotions. On the one hand I was proud of my father’s action and bravery but on the other the family was worried as he had been shot twice. He has been with the special cell for 15 years and really loves his job,” Deshwal’s son, Ashish, who works as a physiotherapist in Delhi, said outside the AIIMS Trauma Centre where Deshwal is recuperating.

On hearing about the encounter, Ashish ed Akshay, SI Raj Singh’s son. Raj Singh and Deshwal have been together in the special cell for the past 15 years.

“Someone from my father’s team called me and said that my father had been shot in the right arm. I was later told that after the shootout he drove the car while wounded and took the others to a nearby hospital,” Chaudhary said.

Eight special cell personnel were injured in the shootout. Senior police officers said a head constable, Girdhar, has been shifted to a private hospital for treatment while four police officers are still recuperating from bullet wounds in the trauma centre. Three others have been discharged from hospital.

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