Cop lands on asbestos sheet, which broke. He falls 20 feet and suffers severe head injuries
In what could be straight out of a film script, a young constable was chasing a burglar jumping from the top of one factory to another when one of the roofs gave in. Valiappa Meti (28) sustained severe head injuries when he fell 20 feet on Friday night in Andrahalli Industrial area.
Meti, from Rajgopal Nagar Police Station, underwent surgery at Nimhans. His condition is said to be critical.
Meti, along with constable Prasanna, were on the night beat. A police point had been put up in the area after a copper wire factory was burgled a fortnight ago. Prasanna recounted that around 3.15 a.m. when they went to mark their attendance at the police point, which is near a factory, they found the lights on inside, which raised suspicion. “I peeped through the ventilator and found a man trying to cut a part out of a huge machine,” he said.
Meti climbed on to the roof using a water pipe and realised that the burglar had gained entry by breaking open the asbestos roofing. “However, alerted by the sound outside, the burglar had also climbed on to the roof. As Meti reached there, he jumped on to the adjoining rooftop, which was about three feet away. Meti followed,” Prasanna said.
He chased the burglar who was jumping over rooftops but lost him after a while. “Then, I began looking for Meti. After searching for a while, I climbed on to the roof of a factory and saw that the asbestos of the adjoining unit was damaged. I found Meti lying inside in a pool of blood,” he said adding, “While the burglar had landed on a parapet, Meti landed on the asbestos roofing, which gave in.”
His summoned colleagues who broke open the factory door and rushed Meti to a nearby hospital, and from there to Nimhans.
Married three months ago
Valiappa Meti is the youngest of three sons of Hanumavva, who lost her husband a year ago. He is from Ganadal village, Koppal district. He is a new recruit in the police department and was posted at Rajgopal Nagar a year ago.
He had married his elder sister’s daughter Lakshmamma three months ago. He had brought Lakshmamma and Hanumavva to the city a fortnight ago after taking a house on rent in Andrahalli.
The family, steeped in poverty, worked as agricultural labourers in their village. Valiappa’s elder brothers Gavisiddappa and Nagaraj had migrated to the city two years ago after a drought in the village. They work as construction labourers. Both are married.
An inconsolable Hanumavva was in no position to speak. Lakshmamma was praying that her husband comes out of the ordeal alive and unscathed.
“Valiappa was the only one who pursued studies. It was difficult for the family to pay for his studies. He completed his pre-university even while he worked in agricultural fields. The family was thrilled when he got a job in the police department. Just when things seemed to be looking up, tragedy struck,” said his uncle Shivaraj who could not control his tears.