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Monday, January 6, 2014

Rajnikant (Billa) jumped in to Coovum; Cobden man jumps in to Grey river

Chase by police cops often are the climax of many a films… if the hero is the Police Officer, the villain and his gang would somehow get caught or die trying to escape………. Heroes would always run through narrow lanes – and Cops would never be able to catch them, even when they are close….

Down under in  the south island of Newzealand runs the Grey river .. it rises in Lake Christabel, one of numerous small lakes on the western side of the Southern Alps,12 kilometres southwest of the Lewis Pass, and runs westward for 120 kilometres before draining into the Tasman Sea at Greymouth.  The river is named after Sir George Grey – a soldier, explorer, writer, who was Governor of South Australia, New Zealand, Cape colony (South Africa) and premier of New Zealand too.   The Grey River's mouth is protected by a large sandbar, Greymouth bar, which is a notorious danger to shipping. Raw sewage is discharged into the Grey River after heavy rainfall. Historically, sewage and stormwater from Greymouth, Cobden and Blaketown were discharged without treatment directly into the Grey River.

Francis Napier, was a  colonial administrator, who also served as a Governor of Madras from 1866 to 1872; he also acted as the Viceroy of India from February to May 1872, temporarily though arising out of the assassination of the Earl Mayo…. and the bridge leading to Fort St. George / War Memorial overlooking island grounds is named in his honour.  Chennaites use this bridge this often, but may not be a pleasant experience travelling on this…

In the 1980 released Rajnikant starrer ‘Billa’ – the hero is chased by police (DSP Balaji) – escapes in a police car, winds through narrow lanes, hits obstacles, straddles on a horse ….. and nearer marina beach, is shot by Police – jumps into Coovum river……… Arjun in Mudhavan also jumps into the very same coovum …. and Vivek too spoofed the jump years later………… the difference between the first and the latter was – earlier it was a river … now it is brackish raw sewage water.  The Cooum River drains into Bay of Bengal nearer Napier Bridge……….the estuary is ugly not fit to be a called a river.  Some say that this river saved Madras from a catastrophe when tsunami struck as most of the tidal waves just surged upwards … near the erstwhile Chitra water in Komaleeswaranpet, sea water carried slush into tenements……….
this photo taken from island grounds - one can see the white Napier bridge..

Now some unconnected news read in the NZherald this morning….. – a Cobden man who evaded police by jumping into the Grey River after midnight on New Year's Day may face a hefty emergency services bill for his "crazy and diabolical actions". The NZCC West Coast Rescue Helicopter combed the Grey River for about 40 minutes, searching for the 34-year-old before he was finally located on the Cobden Island, across the river from where he had jumped in, taunting the police who were on his tail. Sergeant Matthew Frost, of Greymouth police, said the incident had unnecessarily taken up a lot of police, Coastguard and rescue helicopter time.

"This was a crazy and diabolical action, at great risk to himself and resulting in a huge amount of resources being called out," Mr Frost said. He was unsure whether police would seek reparation for all the emergency services' time wasted but said they might. The man, wanted for allegedly assaulting the female bar manager of the nearby Railway Hotel, had been tracked to the Greymouth floodwall by a police dog. When the dog's handler called for him to surrender the man dived into the river yelling, "if you want me, come and get me". He was quickly whisked downstream by the current and was heard by bystanders to yell, "I don't think I'm going to make it," before disappearing from view.

Rescue helicopter pilot Angus Taylor said they were summoned about 1.45am and flew up and down the river for some time but the powerful searchlights on the helicopter failed to locate the man, who was later found, cold and wet, by the police dog and handler. He was arrested and charged with assault and escaping from police, but Mr Frost said further charges were pending. The man's companion, a 24-year-old Cobden woman, was also charged with assaulting the bar manager, and disorderly behaviour.

There are many a times when criminals challenge Police and there are times when the all important time and resource of enforcement authorities are wasted by foolish act of criminals….it is time, India also follows the example, punish as also charge reparatory damage from those who waste public money and cause unnecessary strain on the Public systems

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

3rd Jan 2013.

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