Less than a year ago, he was rewarded for thwarting a robbery attempt
A night of routine patrolling turned into a heroic moment for 54-year-old sub-inspector Ethiraj who jumped into a well and saved a 24-year-old woman.
Around 4 a.m. on Monday, Ethiraj, attached to the Foreshore Estate police station, was patrolling the locality when he got an alert about some commotion on 4th Trust Cross Street.
When he reached the area in his patrol vehicle, he saw four persons running towards him.
“They looked frightened and said some sounds were emanating from the neighbourhood. They thought robbers were prowling in the vicinity,” Mr. Ethiraj said.
But when the policeman looked around, he found nobody. “As I was about to return to the vehicle, I heard someone wailing. I searched the area and found a well. There was a woman inside the well and she was crying for help,” he said.
Soon, a huge crowd gathered around the well. “But nobody was willing to jump in and save the woman. That’s when I decided to get into the well myself. I secured a rope on top of the well and descended. It was 30 feet deep and narrow,” said Mr. Ethiraj.
Since there was just six-feet-deep water inside, the woman did not drown. “I counselled her and secured the rope around her waist. I then asked the onlookers to pull her up,” said Mr. Ethiraj. The woman was immediately rushed to the hospital.
Enquiries revealed the woman, Hemalatha, was a resident of the same locality. Her husband had gone out of town on work. “I handed the woman over to her mother-in-law. My biggest reward was the smile and relief on her mother-in-law’s face,” he said.
Less than a year ago, Mr. Ethiraj was rewarded by the then city police commissioner J.K. Tripathy for thwarting a robbery attempt. He apprehended a group that was fleeing in an autorickshaw after looting a jewellery store.
“I was reward with Rs. 1,000 as I reacted immediately and nabbed the culprits,” said the native of Madurantakam.