Former Cop on Kiran Bedi and How He Towed Away Indira Gandhi's Car

File Photo: BJP's chief ministerial candidate for Delhi Kiran Bedi at an election rally.

New Delhi:

Till recently, it was a defining moment in super cop Kiran Bedi's shining career. Along with the Magsaysay Award, Ms Bedi wore the epithet Crane Bedi like a badge - earned from towing away then Prime Minster Indira Gandhi's car in the call of duty in 1982.

But in the intense scrutiny of electoral politics that the former IPS officer entered last month, she had to admit that the car was actually towed away by Nirmal Singh, then Sub Inspector who reported to her. Ms Bedi was then a deputy commissioner of police in the Delhi Police.

Today, as Ms Bedi fights one of her toughest battles as the BJP's presumptive chief minister in a bitter election campaign, Nirmal Singh, who retired as Assistant Commissioner of Police two years ago, gave his former boss a big thumbs up.

"Sure she should be CM! She is certainly qualified to," he said, adding she was a "good boss."

"If you are interviewing me, it will be an NDTV interview, won't it?' - the analogy the former cop used when asked why he remained faceless for what many believe was a brave act. "As far as I am concerned, the file went to her and she felt I did the right thing," he said of Ms Bedi.

Mr Singh described how it started out as a challenge from a superior who thought he was too righteous. "His name was Ramesh Handa and he called me and said try removing the PM's car."

When he arrived at Connaught Place, Nirmal Singh said, the driver was at the shop and told him he would face consequences for removing the car. "I warned him and said please remove it or else I will have to tow."

When he didn't move it, Mr Singh recounted, he challaned the vehicle, noting the PM's name.

"Departmental inquiries are routine but the file did go to Bedi as DCP and she backed me,'' he said today, clear that Ms Bedi stole no credit due him. "She didn't steal credit, the credit is to the police," he said.