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Of guts and gumption



Cometh the moment, cometh the man... Puran Singh. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.

WHERE THERE is a will, there is a way. This was proved recently, once again when Puran Singh, 25, received the Red and White Bravery Award at the 11th Red and White Bravery Award in New Delhi this past week.

Does not sound very convincing unless you know that he fought with seven to eight thieves having revolver and knife, bashed them down single-handedly. It is more remarkable when you consider that he lost his leg at the age of five.

His story sounds like one in typical Hindi film where a hero bashes up many at one go and emerges triumphant. Puran, an MBA from IGNOU, and a Black Belt title holder, was coming from Khajui, a district towards the North-East of Uttar Pradesh around 10-30 at night in February 2002. He was riding a motorbike. He had stopped at a traffic light. But just when the light turned green, he saw some vagabonds sitting in Maruti van snatching a gold chain from a lady accompanied by two children. "As soon as I saw them, I rushed towards them. But they had run way by then. I chased them, jumped for at least six feet to catch them fast. Finally, as I nabbed them, they took out revolver and knife. Since I was a Black Belt, I kicked and punched three who ran for their lives, the rest who had snatched the chain had put it in his mouth. I punched his mouth, the chain came out. I immediately slipped that into my pocket and gave it to the lady," Puran narrates his tale of bravery.

Later the lady told him that the chain cost Rs.65,000.

Puran was selected for the award after the owner of the chain filed an FIR against the thieves who had run away. The thieves were caught later.

"They told me that they were searching for me to give the award," beams Puran who now trains 33 Delhi Police personnel "on contact basis" which is also his means of living.

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