Over three hundred Sub Inspectors, Inspectors, Deputy Suprintendents, Additional Suprintendents and Suprintendents of Police from the state have served the United Nation’s Mission(UNMIK) in the troubled-torn Kosova. Kosova is spread in around 4,200 square miles and is located between the Mount Kopaonik in the north and snow-clad Mount Shar in the South. This country having both Albanian Muslims and Serbian Christians in now administered by the UN. Police personnel from various parts of the world form the UN Civpol(Civilian Police) which help in keeping peace in this troubled country.
Bahadur Singh Rathaur, who till recently was serving as Additional Suprintendent of Police in Jaipur and has taken up assignment to serve Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat as his PS. He has served in Kosova as Civpol. Rathaur who served as Shekhawat’s security officer during his days as the chief minister during the one year in Kosova tried to understand the problem and people of Kosova. He studied the history of Kosova and also the trouble the country bought for itself and how the populace suffered in recent years because of the war.
Rathaur has written his experience in the form of a book – ‘A Civpol’s diary’.
The selection process for going on a mission to Kosova is tough and it involves general knowledge, proficiency in English, knowledge of fire arms and its use. The UN officials in Delhi do the final selection. Rathaur alongwith two Dy SPs Goving Detha and Deepak Bhargava of Rajasthan Police were selected for the assignment.
Rathaur who was basically a student of chemistry before joining the police force thought of writing his observations in Kosova as the book which he penned painstakingly could serve as a guide to all those police personnel who want to qualify for the assignment.
“The book is neither a travelogue nor memoirs and cannot be termed as a professional’s field report. I simply tried to observe things and tried to make out a sequence of events, keeping in mind the police officers of my category, to read and have an idea about the UN’s mission in Kosova. Thus I called the book Civpol’s Diary,” said Rathaur.
Rathaur has described places and people and also discovered that the Roma gypsies who migrated from India several centuries ago to Europe, have made Kosova their home. Rathaur also described a Roma mohalla which now is in its ruins following the war. The Roma gypsies are a poor lot, but laborious people. The Romas are ill treated and as they are poor. They play drums during weddings nd celebrations and dance. He found that the Alabanians were fond of music and their women were beautiful. But as the Albanian women are all chimney smokers they do not have good voice. Muslims do not keep purdah and are of mixed culture. The albanian language is a strange mix of English, Arabaic, Turkish.
“Sometimes we were surprised to hear Hindi words from the Albanians. The centre is called qendra, house rent is called qira and words like halwa, sakarpara, shakkaer, chai etc could be heard. Rathaur, Detha and Bhargava lived together in a rented house and cooked their own meals.
He describes how when an officer from Punjab who was on similar assignment was joined by his wife and when she touched Rathaur’s feet other officers from different parts of the world were surprised to see her do the respectful act. Rathaur describes how he was saved in a grenade attack and how the Toyota car was severely damaged because of the attack.
Rathaur describes in the book the death of a young BSF deputy commandant Satish Menon who was killed in an ambush when he was going in a car driven by a British officer. How the memorial was organised and how his body was sent to India.
Rathaur worked with Indian, Pakistani, Nepalese and other police personnel from various parts of the world and how he enjoyed. But Rathaur was pained to learn the behaviour of Indian bretheren. A Jharkhand cadre IPS officer was allegedly caught stealing perfume from a shop in Pristina. The shameful incident lowered the heads of other Indians in Kosova. This officer who was the son-in-law of a retired DGP of Goa was sent back home before he could complete his deputation. This incident saw the IPS officers trying to save the culprit and it divided the Indian camp into IPS and non IPS. The senior police officers indulged in all kinds of wrong things. They were doing the same things which they did in India. All this pained Rathaur greatly.
Rathaur’s book could serve as a guide to all those policemen aspiring to serve in Kosova. But for the general masses it gives an insight of the life in Kosova. Rathaur returned home as wiser person. And earned the UN medal for peace.