MADURAI: They may look cold and aloof at times; but with their khaki uniforms off, they are just like you and me, they feel pain, show sympathy, and yes, they do go that extra mile to touch someone’s life. Here, the ‘someone’ is a ganja peddler. Ah! not anymore. He has now become a hawker and sells a white-coloured powdery substance. Hey! don’t get it wrong. He ain’t selling any intoxicant. He just sells salt by riding around Madurai on a bicycle gifted by a policewoman — Flower Sheela, Inspector of Thilagar Thidal police station.
Sheela believes that the duty of police do not stop with just arresting criminals but with helping them rehabilitate. Setting an example, she helped A Ibrahim Shah, a 54-year-old former ganja peddler from Mahaboopalayam, to lead a respectable life. Police say that Ibrahim was abandoned by his family and situations pushed him into the crime world.
He was infamous among college students as a ganja-peddler and several cases have been pending against him. Ibrahim says that though he wanted to get out of ganja-peddling, he could not as he had to meet his daily expenses and pay lawyers.
When police took steps to curb ganja sales, Ibrahim expressed his wish to lead a normal life by selling salt, a job he had been doing earlier. It was then Sheela decided to help him. Banking hopes on Ibrahim’s words, Sheela bought him a bicycle and a bagful of salt on Monday.
Speaking to TNIE, Sheela said: “We sincerely hope that Ibrahim will not involve in ganja peddling hereafter. He too assured us that he would not involve in any offence. We will keep a tab on him.”