But to get the confirmation, a scribe should at least make 10 calls to verify facts and on calling the police station, the usual response is: “Oh, I don’t know anything about it” or “I just returned to duty from a long absence” or even “Oh, the person you’re looking for is not here”.
When an under-construction building collapsed in Chetpet last week and resulted in a few deaths, this scribe after visiting the spot, had to make a call to a Chetpet police inspector to confirm the details of those arrested. To not consume too much time, the journalist called on the inspector’s mobile phone after looking it up the directory.
“Sir, I’m not the Chetpet inspector, but a sub-inspector at Alangulam in Tirunelveli district,” he said. Just about when this reporter wanted to respond that this trick was becoming old, the official said, “I have got over 100 calls today enquiring the Chetpet incident. I don’t know why.”
Confused, this reporter called the Chetpet police station’s land line to confirm the inspector’s contact number and then realised that one-digit was misplaced in the directory. Interestingly, names of both the sub-inspector and inspector sounded similar too, which added to the confusion.
Later, this reporter got to know that the Alangulam sub-inspector had been promoted and waiting to take charge as an inspector soon. Perhaps, all those calls have prepped him for what’s in store from the media in Chennai.
— Venkadesan S, Chennai