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How a bus conductor changed CBI chief's life

A Correspondent in New Delhi | October 18, 2008 11:33 IST
Last Updated: October 18, 2008 12:46 IST

Ashwani Kumar, the new CBI chief, is a man with a difference. He is, perhaps, the first officer to sense the plight of mediapersons waiting outside his office in New Delhi [Images], braving scorching sun and rains.

Displaying an unusual sensitivity that is always missing from top sleuths like him, Ashwani walked up to them on Friday and told them that they remind him of his young days.

 Just two months in office as the CBI director, Ashwani said this is inhuman and ordered a special media room. He also deputed a joint director to meet at 4 pm on each working day and told them that, "I will come out myself if there is any special briefing."

The CBI director had a chat with scribes, narrating the hard way he came up in life -- he hails from a poor village near Shimla.  He then went on to narrate how he would have never become an IPS officer but for a timely help from a bus conductor in Delhi

Here is Ashwani Kumar in first person:

My purse was picked in the DTC bus while travelling from Tilak Nagar to UPSC on
Shajahan Road in 1972. But for the bus conductor let me travel without ticket as he understood that I will lose a career if I miss the exam, I would not have reached on time to appear for the English paper in UPSC."

My uneasiness in the exam hall attracted attention of the invigilator as he kept staring at me and then came to my desk to probe if I were upset for not being able to cheat in the exam.

I stood up, showed my torn and narrated how my pocket was picked up just as I got into the bus to come for the exam. I am tense because of that. At once the invigilator took out a Rs 5 note from his pocket and handed it over to me, saying don't worry how I will go back to Tilak Nagar and better concentrate on writing the paper. That day I even did not have lunch before sitting for the exam since I had just no money.

Ashwani Kumar was the Director-General of Police in Himachal Pradesh [Images] before his surprise appointment as the CBI chief in August.

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