Heroic constable saves woman's life

May 20, 2012, 07:10 IST | Anuradha Varanasi & Nivedita Dargalkar

Gunaji Patil, a constable attached to the Worli police station, dived into the water and pulled out a depressed woman who attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the Bandra-Worli Sea Link; both sustained minor injuries

Fifty one year-old constable Gunaji Patil, attached to the Worli police station, foiled a suicide bid by a 23 year-old housewife, who jumped off the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) around 12 noon yesterday. Jalpa Pujari, who resides at her maternal house in Kandivali, tried to commit suicide over an alleged spat with her estranged husband about the custody of their three year-old daughter. She hailed a taxi from Santacruz (W) and instructed the cab driver, Vasant Kumar, to take her to the Worli sea face. When the taxi was nearing the Worli end of the sea link, Pujari requested Kumar to stop the vehicle, telling him that she had dropped her purse on the road.

Kumar said, “I halted the cab, but after she got off I realised that her mobile phone and purse were lying on the backseat. Before I could react, she had jumped off.” A shocked Kumar immediately alerted the police control room. Hearing the cab driver’s frantic calls for help Alzul Hoque, a security guard posted at the Worli end of the sea link, rushed to the spot. “As soon as I realised what had happened I went down and stood by the rocks. I tried to help her stay afloat by instructing her to hold on to the other end of a bamboo stick that I found at the site. However, she kept losing grip of the stick,” said Hoque.

Luckily, by then, constable Patil arrived at the scene and immediately dived into the water. Within 20 minutes, he managed to bring Pujari to safety. However, in the process, he suffered abrasions on his feet. Pujari managed to escape with minor injuries on her legs.

Patil said, “It took about 15-20 minutes to get her out of the water. In the process I sustained cuts from the rocks on my feet while I was trying to find a grip, but I am glad I saved her life,” he added, pointing towards his bandaged feet.

DCP (Zone III) Kishore Jadhav said, “We are really proud of Patil for selflessly jumping into the water to save the woman.

It is because of him that Pujari is alive today. She was depr
essed after going through a traumatic phase with her husband who is an abusive drunkard,” he added. ACP Vineet Agarwal (Central Region) said, “Pujari had separated from her husband, Pushparaj, about six months ago. They were contemplating a divorce and had frequent fights over who would get the custody of their three year-old daughter. On Friday evening, Pujari had a bitter fight over the phone with her husband who is in Bengaluru.”

Pujari and her relatives refused to comment on the matter. The police have registered a case under section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of IPC. “Taking into account her depressed state of mind, we have referred Pujari for counselling,” added Agarwal. 

 The men who helped saved the day

Taxi driver Vasant Kumar got suspicious after Jalpa Pujari jumped out of his cab. He alerted the police control room immediately. pics/ Datta Kumbhar 

Alzul Hoque, a security guard posted at the Worli end of the sea link, gave Pujari a bamboo stick to hold on to and helped her stay afloat

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