Deekshith D V
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (DV)
Mangaluru, Jul 12: In broad daylight, a police sub-inspector in uniform shoots himself in the head with his service revolver and dies at the police station. A single bullet triggered from the revolver ends the life of a bold and dynamic officer. This happened nearly 20 years ago.
This was the first incident of suicide by a cop that shocked the entire coastal Karnataka. The man who shot himself was Manohar Soans, serving as SI at Pandeshwar police station.
In the wake of the recent suicide of DySP Ganapati which once again brought to focus the alleged political interference in the working of the police department, let us recall the first ever reported suicide case of a police officer who was pushed to the limit.
Like DySP Ganapati, who committed suicide on July 7 due to alleged political interference, harassment and lack of support from his senior police officers, sub-inspector Manohar Soans was also a victim of corrupt system and political interference.
When Soans was serving as ASI at Suratkal station, which was then an outpost under Mulky police, he was inducted into the District Crime Intelligence Bureau (DCIB), which was still in its nascent stage then. As ASI in the DCIB, Soans along with others worked immensely to curb criminal activities in the city. Moreover, he was instrumental in curbing communal violence in Bhatkal which claimed 18 lives. Later he was promoted as sub-inspector of Pandeshwar police station.
After his promotion, Manohar Soans tried to stop the gold smuggling mafia from Kerala which had spread its net in the city. He along with two constables raided and arrested the accused in the gold smuggling racket. Unfortunately, the police team failed to catch the accused red-handed. The smugglers had already disposed off the smuggled goods.
During the raid, the police also confiscated Rs 1,700 and a car key. The sub-inspector warned the accused to provide information about the racket. Unfortunately, the accused were let off due to lack of evidence. The smugglers then reportedly informed this to their bosses and exerted political pressure on him.
During his tenure as sub-inspector, gold smuggling mafia had wide political backing. The smugglers in this case allegedly took the help of a politician from the erstwhile Vittal constituency.
To favour and protect the smugglers, the politician allegedly contacted a senior police officer serving above Soans and hatched a conspiracy against him. Soans was then trapped in a false corruption case, on allegations that he had demanded Rs 1 lac from the smugglers. Allegedly, the money was clandestinely arranged and produced as evidence against Soans. The senior officer also allegedly gave false information to the superintendent of police (SP) against the cop. As a result, Soans and two other policemen were suspended.
Soans tried to console the other two police constables who were also distressed by their suspension, but all he could tell them was that it was 'part of the police job'. He later went to the first floor of Pandeshwar police station and shot himself with the service revolver.
A sincere officer, Soans became the first reported victim of the system and interference of politicians in the undivided Dakshina Kannada. The lack of support from senior officers compelled Soans to take the drastic step of committing suicide.
There are several police officers who work with dedication and commitment but unfortunately interference of politicians does not allow them to function independently.