At the age of 20, Shridhar Dhawle had joined the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) as a constable in 1974. He was later promoted as head constable. In 1999, Dhawle was crushed by a dumper truck near Panvel. The driver was booked for rash and negligent driving. Dhawle was shifted to PD Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre for treatment.
In 2000, a report was issued by the hospital, stating that Dhawle’s left lower limb had become two inches shorter than his right. Therefore, he was advised to avoid long walks and arduous journeys. In view of this disability, Dhawle was removed from the force in 2002. Neither was he compensated, nor was a relative offered a job. After pursuing various authorities in hope of justice for nearly a decade, Dhawle — now 58 — had approached the Bombay High Court two years ago, which last month gave a judgment, saying that he must be reinstated to the force with a desk job.
The court said no jawan should be removed from service for disability. It also maintained that Dhawle should have been kept on the same post or shifted to some other situation, with same pay scale and service benefits. Now, Dhawle has been recalled to the CISF unit at Ratnagiri Gas And Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL). But, with only two years and two months of service left, he stares at an uncertain future.
“I am happy that I have been reinstated. However, I have lost 10 years of my life in this. I was removed for no reason. I was not paid a single paisa for 10 years. I was sitting at home. At least a family member should have been taken into the force, but that too did not happen. People who were earlier working with me have now become inspectors. I still remain a head constable, which hurts me a lot,” Dhawle told MiD DAY.