Aizawl: Serving the country and the nation is the foremost duty and responsibility of every citizen, especially in times of need. Yet, most citizens neglect such duty but expect good things from the country.
While many officials and government servants made lame excuses to skip their official duty, this was not the case for a police officer in the hilly state of Mizoram in the Northeast. With many polling personnel seeking exemption from election duty, this officer remains an inspiration for many.
Beimosia Lapi, a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) in Mizoram police, posted in Mizoram’s southern-most Lawngtlai district, put his nation and duty first by refusing to skip election duty despite the death of his father just four days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
The 34-year-old officer assumed his new posting as SDPO, Lawngtlai, just before announcement of the Lok Sabha elections and he was appointed as nodal officer for communication plan and cyber security as well as police zonal officer for Lawngtlai zone during the elections.
His father, L Patha (75), passed away on April 7.
Lapi, who is the youngest son of six siblings, attended his father’s funeral on April 8, stayed one more day with his bereaved family, did not make any excuse but resumed his duty on April 10, a day ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in the state.
Mizoram went to the polls on April 11 to elect its lone MP.
Understanding the pain which Lapi suffered for losing his beloved father, when his senior Lawngtlai district superintendent of police Amit Goel asked him if he needed leave and wanted to be excused from his duty, the loyal officer replied, “No matter what, my father would not come back. I would rather fulfill my duty loyally and do my best for the conduct of peaceful elections.”
He told his seniors that he would rather take leave after the elections, if need be.
Lapi said that he always wanted to be honest and loyal to his country as a citizen and government servant.
Although losing a father was a very painful experience for him, his commitment to serve the nation motivated him to leave his bereaved families and perform his duty, he said. He said that the government as well as the people needed him for peaceful election, for which he could not skip his duty.
“I did not take leave as I was reluctant to do so. But my seniors were very understanding and had great sympathy for my loss for which I was given two days’ holiday (without leave) to perform the last rites and take part in my father’s funeral. I am rather grateful to my seniors,” the young officer told EastMojo.
He said he was shy to have his story carried in a newspaper as his suffering was virtually nothing when compared to the suffering of other officials, who could not even took part at their fathers’ funeral.
“I should say I was rather lucky to have at least attended my father’s funeral when many officials could not. I am pretty shy to be in the news for the little thing I have done for my land,” the humble officer said.
April 10 was a crucial day for Lawngtlai district as it was the day before poll (P-1) and the polling personnel arrival report in the polling station was extremely crucial.
With its hilly terrain and low-lying surface like Tuichawng area, the district has faced enormous inconvenience as mobile connectivity was not available in some remote areas.
The incessant rains that hit the district days before the polling day also vexed officials to reach their destination. Of the 1,175 polling stations, Mizoram has two polling stations, which were out of vehicle reach, and these were in Lawngtlai district.
The rain washed away a bridge in Bolisora so the polling party had to walk to the polling station. Besides, there was no electricity for more than 24 hours in Chawngte (Kamalanagar), the headquarters of Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC). Communications were down and even wireless sets used by personnel of Mizoram Police Radio Organisation (MPRO) and PSOs could not function properly.
In such a situation, Lapi was a timely asset to the district administration and Lawngtlai SP to get timely information.
His hard work in briefing security personnel, overseeing poll day communication and security issues, among others, made it possible for peaceful election and early acquisition of reliable poll data.
Lawngtlai witnessed a successful election, recording a maximum voter turnout of about 64.70% against 55% in the past elections, largely due to the efforts of a committed officer like Lapi, who worked with a deep sense of duty and gratitude to the country he serve.
He set an example for others in the country to follow.