Chhattisgarh encounter: Father’s desperate ride in lookout for son ends in heartbreak

Express News Service
RAIPUR:  As media reports about the Maoist attack on the security forces in south Bastar started trickling in on Saturday morning, a distressed elderly teacher desperately tried to seek information about the safety and well-being of his son a sub-inspector in the Special Task Force (STF) of Chhattisgarh Police.

Deepak Bharadwaj was leading the joint party of forces that was trapped in the Maoist ambush. When he got no information till late night about his son, a worried Radhelal left home at Malkharaoda in Janjgir-Champa for Bijapur, consistently praying for Deepak’s safety all along his road journey.

The old man travelled 600 km with the hope to find Deepak safe and had planned to accompany him back to Raipur.

But destiny had something else in store for him.

He rushed from one hospital to other looking for his son before he came to know on Sunday evening that his son had died in the exchange of fire with the Maoists.

A shocked Radhelal rushed to the hospital where the bodies of the deceased personnel were brought. Holding his breath, he watched as the bodies were taken out of the ambulance.

As the sixth body was taken out, he collapsed in tears — it was that of Deepak.

“I am totally shattered and don’t know how to share the news with my family. I had last spoken to him on Holi,” the inconsolable father exclaimed. 

Deepak joined the police in 2013 at the age of 23 years.