AHMEDABAD: The job offer came when his father, a cop himself, died with his boots on. That was in 1995 when Rakesh Yadav had barely entered the Gujarat police force. His family told him to reject the offer to join the bomb disposal squad. Having lost her husband, his mother was averse to the idea of her son, now the only bread-winner, taking up such a high risk job. But Rakesh had a penchant for adventure from an early age. His family gave in finally and Rakesh, now 37, has been at it ever since. Today, as the head of the bomb squad of the Gujarat police, he has to his credit the disposal of nearly 300 bombs in the last 13 years. Leading from the front always, he is considered a guru by his team. On Sunday morning, Yadav was at work again. He was called to the Hatkeshwar circle by a social worker, Harshad Patel, who spotted a bomb inside a dustbin. Yadav successfully defused the timer-bomb and then touched the earth in front of him to thank the Almighty. It was yet another mission successfully done. His family used to pray earlier whenever he used to undertake risky assignments. ''Now, they have a lot of confidence that I will come back home alive after a hard day's job,'' said this father of three children. He displayed rare dare-devilry in 1998 when a live bomb, complete with flashing lights, was detected inside Natraj Cinema. He put on his bomb suit, wrapped the bomb in a blanket and hugged the bomb to his chest. He then walked out, as softly as possible, from the cinema hall. He got a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh from the then police commissioner for this rescue act. There was no looking back after that. He has defused countless bombs since then. In 2002, when tiffin-bombs blasted on-board AMTS buses, a colleague lost two fingers while handling a bomb rather recklessly. ''We all know the risks involved, one mistake and boom.''
6 months ago