Meanwhile, on Saturday, over 400 km away in Solapur, head constable Nasruddin Shaikh spotted an elderly man crawling on the road. "I had seen him for the first time. I asked him who he was, and whether he was hungry. I fed him, unaware that someone was taking a video of the entire exchange," Nasruddin recalled.
Ashok told mid-Day, "I was interested to see this good deed by a fellow policeman, so I downloaded the video. I was shocked when I identified the elderly man on the streets as none other than Bhikaji Pansare, my neighbour who was missing since February 7.
"I wanted to confirmed it with Bhikaji's daughter, so that evening, I went to their house and showed the video to his daughter, Sangita. She fell to her knees and burst into tears."
Ashok then posted the video on his police station's group, asking if anyone knew the constable feeding the old man. One of the cops from his station hailed from Solapur, and he forwarded the video to the police group there. In Solapur, a third cop identified Nasruddin from the video.
"He said Nasruddin was head constable at the Solapur city police station, so we contacted them and took his contact number. All of this happened in a span of just two hours," said Ashok.
'Hello, we found him'
Bhikaji's daughters had been waiting for the call, and as soon as it came, they left for Solapur at 10 pm. They are now with their father, and are likely to arrive back in Mumbai in the wee hours today. The police are not sure how the nonagenarian managed to reach Solapur alone, but they suspect he may have been confused and boarded a train there by mistake. The family is just relieved to have him back. Manali said, "I am so grateful to the cops who reunited us and brought a smile back to our faces after so long."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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