Mahesh Nimbalkar, a cop with the city police constabulary, has made his department proud by achieving something that nobody has even done. With a penchant of tracking down absconding criminals, this 40-year-old police naik has hit a century of sorts by tracking down 100 undetectable criminals on police records, and that too in just one year.
Nimbalkar, who is attached to the Deccan Gymkhana police station, has an innate khabari network in all the sections of the society. Be it a liquor bar, a gambling den or slums, he has his men everywhere. With the help of his informers and his great networking skills, Nimbalkar has apprehended several absconders in a record time.
Sharing with MiD DAY the secret of his success, Nimbalkar said, "I maintain a list of absconders and update it with the help of my informers. Besides, I meet them whenever I'm free and try to build a rapport with new people too."
He added that he has even used the voters' list to track down some absconders. "It helped me get information about their addresses. With the help of voters' list I have traced around six to seven people."
The tech-savvy cop also clarified the common belief that cops have to pay a khabari each time they provide them some information. "It depends on the kind of rapport you have with your informer," he added.
Nimbalkar said that catching a person is not always a cakewalk. "It requires a lot of patience. Also, one has to keep calm and just wait for the right opportunity because criminals often play hide and seek with us," he said. "I even encouraged my colleagues and juniors to develop their skills by meeting people and rooting their human network."
Sharing an incident where his luck favoured him, Nimbalkar said, "I had once traced a person accused in a forgery case. He was absconding from Sangli since the past two years. When I detained him and was bringing him to the police station, his friend insisted that I take him along too.
When I reached the police station and called the Sangli police to inform them about the person being caught, the cop on the line told me that another person too was absconding with the accused. Luckily, he was same person who had come with me to the police station."
Like several cops, Manohar Joshi, police inspector at Deccan police station, too is in awe of Nimbalkar's networking skills. "Every cop has his own network of informers, however, there's hardly anyone who utilises it the way Nimbalkar does."
Last year, Nimbalkar had nabbed 56 untraceable criminals on police records in just four months. The then Commissioner of Police Meeran Borwankar had felicitated Nimbalkar and rewarded him with Rs 1.3 lakh for his outstanding work. Nimbalkar is the first policeman to receive such a big reward in the city police. "The recognition boosted by morale and that's when I decided to achieve the 100 mark.