Scared of being murdered at the hands of goons and afraid that a few were about to take away his kidneys, 40-year-old Rambhau Pawar ran for his life and took shelter on the roof of one of the offices’ on the premises of the Pune railway station on Saturday.
It took three days, a four-hour-long gruelling rescue operation and a few grievous injuries to get Pawar down safely, whom the railway officials had earlier assumed to be mentally challenged.
In their efforts to get Pawar off the roof, a Railway Police Force (RFP) personnel and a labourer sustained grievous injuries on Saturday. It was the fire brigade officials who finally managed to get Pawar down by using sheer force.
Pawar survived for three days on the food and water given by a few labourers and those working in the Section Engineer Office. Pawar refused to come down saying that he was afraid of people, and that some were after his life and kidneys.
Pradeep Ovhal, an eyewitness and an employee at the railway parcel office, said, “The person was spotted sitting on the roof of one of the Section Engineer Offices near the cement godown on Saturday. When we asked him why he was sitting there, he said that he was hiding from the attackers who wanted to kill him and take his kidneys.
His answer was bizarre and we thought that he was either mentally challenged or was suffering from some psychological disorder. We immediately alerted the RPF and asked them to bring him down,” said Ovhal.
RPF constable Sunil Mane was on duty when the railway employees approached him, informing him about a man on the roof. Mane was transferred to Pune railway station from Jalgaon just two days ago.
“I warned him to come down, but the warning scared him. I climbed the roof with the help of a labourer and tried to nab him, but he ran away. While the chase was on, he suddenly turned and attacked us. In order to save ourselves we lost our balance, fell off the roof and injured ourselves,” said Mane.
Mane is currently undergoing treatment at the Railway Hospital.
After the incident, Pawar moved to a nearby roof and stayed there until yesterday and survived on the food and water given by labourers and railway employees.
Section Engineer Office Devdutt Shinde said, “In our attempt to get him down, we started talking to him nicely and offered him biryani and mutton curry. He only ate the curry. He even refused to take the beer bottle we offered to lure him.” Shinde said when all their tactics to get Pawar off the roof failed they finally called the fire brigade yesterday.
Firemen in action
Two fire tenders and about 50 firefighters reached the spot at 12.30 pm yesterday. They brought long jumping sheets, ropes and other equipment to execute the rescue operation. The moment a few firemen climbed the roof and surrounded him, Pawar became violent. He took two big wooden sticks and tried to hit the firemen.
“We even offered him tobacco, money and eatables, but he refused to accept any and went berserk. He started scampering from one end of the roof to the other, and tried to assault our officials with wooden sticks,” fireman Ramesh Gangad said.
Gangad said after their tactics to seek Pawar’s cooperation failed, they decided to rope him. “When he realised that his escape route was blocked by our men, he climbed a nearby tree. But we succeeded in getting him off the tree. But the moment he climbed down, he ran towards the end of the roof, where he lost his balance and fell down,” Gangad said.
Despite having a nasty fall, Pawar got up and tried to escape but was intercepted by MiD DAY lensman Krunal Gosavi. Once Gosavi caught hold of Pawar, the other firefighters swung into action and overpowered Pawar. They then took him to the railway section office and tried to pacify him.
“We tied his legs and hands so that he could not escape again. We then sent him to the Sassoon hospital because of the multiple injuries he had sustained,” Gangad said.
Ovhal, who spoke to Pawar after he calmed down, said, “He (Pawar) told me that he and his younger sister used to work at a brick kiln in a small village in Ahmednagar. The kiln owner used to harass his sister. When he realised that his employer harboured ill intentions towards his sister, he asked her to quit job. But when his employer came to know of this, he got Pawar thrashed at the hands of a few local goons.”
The goons also threatened Pawar that they would kill him. “Scared, Pawar fled the village and took shelter in the nearby hills, and came to Pune railway station by a train on Saturday. But after reaching the station he got hysterical and assumed that a few were after his life and kidneys. To save himself from the fictional attackers, he climbed the roof and that’s where the entire drama began,” Ovhal said.