PUDUCHERRY: It was a good three hours since the cyclone had made landfall. The Bolero in which they were travelling was going deeper into water. As the power supply had been cut in advance, as a precautionary measure, it was pitch dark around them. Yet, four Puducherry policemen in that car kept inching forward, knowing very well that it was a risky operation.
The water level kept rising, well above the tyres. But, giving up was not an option. There was a family of three marooned in its home, waiting for help to arrive before its too late. And, help they must. The mission began at 1.50 am, Thursday, when the emergency operation centre received a distress call from a woman living in Rainbow Nagar. Water had entered her home, and was rising rapidly.
She was stuck there with her 71-year-old mother and 9-year-old son. Officials at the centre soon alerted the Grand Bazar police station. Four constables were assigned the task of rescuing the family -- S Subastipan, S Sasikumar, A Manjinin and V Murugan. “Trees had fallen on the main road, blocking access to the area,” said the team speaking with Express.
“We had to take a detour. It was dark, raining heavily, and there was strong wind. Water was gushing across the narrow street in which the home was located. We could not take the car forward beyond a point.” Here, three of the policemen stepped out into the street, and started wading through waist-deep water. “We went into the house and saw the trio sitting on top of a cot, scared and shivering.” They were carefully moved from there to the vehicle.
“The driver kept the engine running, to ensure that water does not enter the motor.” They were taken to their relative’s home nearby. “By the time we left, water on the road was almost chest-level,” says the woman who made the phone-call, the daughter of an ex-serviceman. “My dad has passed away and my husband was not in town that night. When the water started entering our home, we had no clue of how we would manage. If not for these policemen, we would have been in real danger.”