The house at Patel Nagar in Gowlipura wears a sleepy look. In the early hours of Thursday, three burglars tried breaking into it and plain courage displayed by J Sriramulu Patel, the man of the house, and his 12-year-old pet saved the day. Reconstructing the sequence of events, the septuagenarian shares his experience with TNIE.
I have been unable to sleep since Wednesday night when the incident happened. The house has been teeming with police personnel, friends and well-wishers.
My son Vijay, who lives with me was at his brother’s home, down the street, to celebrate his nephew’s birthday. I was alone in the house and out of habit, I was sleeping with my pistol under my pillow. Around 12.30 am, I heard my dog, Rocky, barking. Initially, I ignored it but became suspicious when he wouldn’t stop even after 15 minutes.
As I went close to the main door, I heard some voices. They were discussing how to break the door open! When I peered out into the courtyard, I could not see anyone. I took out my pistol, held it in the folds of my dhoti and opened the door, asking loudly, ‘Who’s there?’ The burglars were surprised and the one who was standing right outside the door tried attacking me with his bare hands. I stopped him by grabbing his right hand and fired two rounds from my pistol.
One bullet cap fell inside the house, close to the main door and the other fell near the steps leading to the door. Though the burglar I stopped kept struggling to free himself, I maintained my grip. Hearing the sound of firing, two beat constables came up to my gate and demanded to know what was going on. I told them that I had nabbed one of the burglars who tried breaking into my home. As I keep my gate locked and the keys are inside, I couldn’t open the gates. I could sense that the man was bleeding from the side. The police personnel made him climb the wall and detained him, after which I fetched the keys to the gate. When it ended, it was around 1.15 am Thursday and I was too shocked to call up my son. The police calmed me and made called Vijay. Today, I came to know that they were a gang of four.
Hearing the news, my daughters also came home today. I know that the man was hurt but they had come with an intent to harm me. It was in self-defense that I fired. The police told me the offender, Thirupataiah is from Anu Jyothi colony, Uppuguda. I do not know the intention behind the break-in. That is something for the police to find out.
I get emotional about my pet, Rocky. He is 12 and still he keeps a vigil, even during the night. The faith displayed by animals cannot be expected from any human being. I had been an athlete in my younger days and used to play kabbadi and participate in cycle rallies. It is through God’s grace that I was able to protect myself and my house.
I am worried about one thing. My 0.25 mm was seized by the police though it has a valid licence. I want to know when can I get it back. Further, the news that my weapon has been seized might encourage the miscreants to strike again! Is there anyway I can seek protection?
(As told to Payal Ganguly)