By Biswaraj Patnaik in Puri, May 3, 2018: On 18 April, 2018, heavens came crumbling down for the Odisha saffron outfit as Arup Patnaik joined the BJD as a party worker. As the word goes the BJP bosses across India had dangled several baits to entice the heroic former topcop into their near–communal fold by promising him the paradise of opportunities for truly admirable social work, given Patnaik’s temperament. Some commonly known insiders say even Nitin Gadkari had convinced Arup that BJP was the answer to people’s woes caused by Congress and all other known parties across India over the years.

The then Bihar-based oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had remained in close and constant contact with the former top cop for the latter’s enviable credentials and track records, only to induct him for showcasing the party impressively and capitalising on his larger than life image. Arup too had believed them like an innocent, unsuspecting do-good human being with a sharply thinking head. He had nearly stepped into home.

The smalltime BJP operators in Odisha without sense or sensibility had even blown a great deal of poison into his ears by saying Naveen Patnaik is a weak leader misruling Odisha through a team of bureaucrats that have no heart for Odias. They had named one young public official as the mastermind who frames all public policies and designs programmes to keep Naveen free of trouble and pain, thereby controlling all domains of governance in a whimsical manner.

The development of Odisha has never been high on this bureaucrat’s agenda nor shall ever be. The small cats and rats in the Odisha saffron fold had turned so mean as even to persuade Arup Patnaik to sabotage the Mumbai event for releasing and unveiling the book ‘Tall Man’ on the legendary Biju Patnaik’s dramatic life and times. Arup began to smell the rotten odour of conspiracy then for the first time. He had a sentimental outlook about Biju Patnaik as his father Bhuban Mohanty Patnaik and Biju babu were childhood chums- from school to college in Cuttack.

Even today, an old sepia photo adorns the wall of Biju Babu’s sitting room at Naveen Niwas, which shows the two friends together as very young boys in a group photo. All this apart, Biju babu had always taken pride in topcop Arup’s achievements in Maharashtra. The legendary Biju never forgot once to talk and admire Arup whenever they met per chance or by design. The iconic guy had not forgotten any of those events, more so because his late father had told him stories of common adventure during their student days involving Biju Patnaik.

All the same, Arup had never discounted Dharmendra Pradhan as he is the Oil and Gas minister of India and projected as the chief ministerial figure from the saffron fold. He was expected to take on Naveen Patnaik which had always disconcerted the former. After retiring from the police force, Arup religiously pursued his calling of social work. He had established the Konark Trust to help poor and needy cancer patients from Odisha in need of medical and nursing care in Mumbai.

At a private meeting Arup told jokingly that a patient and his distressed family members are accorded VVIP treatment the way a groom’s party in the Indian subcontinent gets at the bride’s place on the day of wedding. Later, several people have emotionally narrated their experiences at the Konark Trust to be even better than what Arup had mentioned lightly.

A number of corporate and business entities have come forward to fund the hospitality activities of the Trust doing wonders for the poor cancer victims from Odisha. An old father told with tears in eyes, “you have to see to believe what exceptional service one gets from the unique trust.” He narrated this with a sense of pride too that an Odia guy is behind the most admirable project. His son has recovered and back to normal life.

Many Odias have gone to Mumbai and grown big in money and stature, but not one ever has done what Arup has put up. Interestingly, not once has Arup spoken big about it. Post retirement, he has come back home in Odisha with a full-fledged service establishment. Heritage home and skill training centre for the youth in basic life skills including communication, grooming and behaviour so as to render them truly employable. All this funded from his saving and pension money. So, working for the backward and the distressed is the prime calling now!”

All this information came from his close friends and social work colleagues and a few elderly ones who have seen him grow up and shape so well as the proverbial do-gooder.

Lastly, only after the ‘Tall Man’ event at Mumbai, he began probing to figure out the core truth and realised soon that the BJP in Odisha is a lacklustre, seamless fold without a face or body functioning properly.

So, one fine morning he decided to board the BJD boat robustly built and fit to take a big adventurous journey rather than the leaking and rudderless one. It is known from reliable sources that that Arup may be considered for the Rajya Sabha in 2019, though he says he would be happy to add strength to the party as a disciplined soldier only.

Born on September 8, 1955, Arup is a recipient of the Director General of Police’s Insignia for his signal contribution in the investigation of 1993 Bombay bombings. He distinguished himself by his effective handling of the Bombay Riots in his jurisdiction in 1992-93.

On record, Arup is the only Odisha–born top cop of Maharashtra cadre across 150 years of police history. He became famous mainly because of his eventful fixing of erring politicians, particularly those flexing plastic muscles and burrowed authority and power. The organised crime cartels and syndicates simply chose to vapourise themselves from the surface of the finance capital of India, also famous for the glamour world with rubber characters emitting artificial glitter.

The infamous Mumbai blasts and the subsequent RDX haul by the daredevil Patnaik catapulted him to the highest possible esteem in the eyes of the Mumbaikars. Dawood Ibrahim fled for good to land on some goddamn foreign soil to keep the heart beating, because the highly efficient crime-busting team Arup had formed was hellbent to nab the dangerous gangster from any hole in India. The tinsel town with painted and stage-robed monarchs beelined at his door for a glimpse only to seek safety and security against extornate gangsters and underworld dons demanding astronomical sums of ransom money.

Patnaik was not only a hard task master as a topcop, he was also a great social worker. He ensured the poor and the sick never suffered at the hands of the power–wielding politicians or corporate giants. He cut every arrogant biggie to tiny size and extracted promise of never resorting to funny tricks to fleece or deceive the gullible masses.

No wonder, he rose to occupy the most coveted Mumbai Police Commissioner’s chair against odds. Most surprisingly, even his enemies and detractors celebrated his elevation because they all knew too well Patnaik would not be vindictive ever; he would rather make sure everyone felt safe and secure in Mumbai. Filmmakers grabbed the opportunity to steal the anecdotes of his valour and do-good, and stringed stories to make movies with the view to inspiring police guys all over so that people’s respect for the uniformed force rose in public. ‘Aan- men at work’ and ‘Ponkshe’ were two major movies made on him, which become big hits.

Just now there is big news that the infamous Jay Dey murder case in Mumbai which was investigated by Arup Patnaik as Commissioner has resulted in conviction of the killers organised by Chhota Rajan a most dreaded Don of India who operated from abroad. It’s history that a big Don has ever been brought to book!

Not surprisingly, the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has described Arup as a “tremendous asset”. He served Maharashtra for 36 long years leaving behind magnificent footprints in the sands of police history. Now he is back to smell his earth and feel the land that nurtured him. He is here to pay back what he took from his own land to become what he is today.

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