‘My father was a problem solver’

Ramakant Sheshagirirao Kulkarni, Mumbai Crime Branch

Anita Bhogle, daughter of the late RS Kulkarni, tells Sangeeta Yadav about her father’s high-profile cases and how he dealt with them

From solving high-profile cases like the Raman Raghav killings and the Manwat murders, to catching hold of foreign smugglers of ammunition, gold, etc Walcott and Donze, Ramakant Sheshagirirao Kulkarni, who was called the Sherlock Holmes of India, became a household name.

It has been 11 years since Kulkarni passed away, but his wife, and daughter Anita Bhogle, feel proud that he is still remembered after so many years.

“My mother used to tell me that Raman Raghav was the first case he got when he was newly appointed as head of the Crime Branch in 1968. That time, many people questioned his method of solving cases. He was not tall or well-built. He didn’t look like a police officer. In fact, he looked more like a banker or a professor than an IPS officer. But he surprised everyone time and again. We were very young when the Raman Raghav incident happened and we didn’t realise how big it was until we read my father’s bookFootprints On The Sand Of Crime. When I was young, my job was to cut out all the newspaper articles that had his name and create a file,” Anita recalls.

She tells you that her father was not the kind of police officer as portrayed in movies.

“He was upright and very proud of his job. I remember he would come home and talk about the convictions and what the judge would say about the cases. Like Scotland Yard, people used to talk about the Mumbai Crime Branch and he was the man who set it up. He was God-fearing and read a lot of religious books. He had a very humane approach to life. He not only chased the criminals but also thought about the victims, their families and the impact a crime has on society,” Anita says.

But it was not as if Kulkarni was chasing criminals all the time. He was a family person too and spent quality time with them.

“He always had time for us and never brought home his work. He never feared that our lives could be in danger because of his work. My mother is a very strong person and took charge and managed everything on the home front,” Anita tells you, adding that her father was a problem solver.

“He was a such a special person. Today, he is no more. But if he was alive, I would go to him with my problems. He had a solution to everything. He touched so many lives in Mumbai but never bragged about it,” Anita says.

After retiring in 1990, Kulkarni pursued his passion — music.

“When we were young, my father used to play thesitar and tabla. After he retired, he learnt to play theharmonium as well. He used to say that music is something that you can create by yourself, you don’t need anybody else,” Anita tells you.

Despite having such an illustrious career (Kulkarni even set up the  Institute of Technology and Forensic Science in Rohini in Delhi), he was tough on himself and regretted never having studied Hindi and Marathi.

“He told me that he wished he could write in Hindi and Marathi so that whatever he wrote could be read by many more. The fact that he read Kabir so late in his life was also something that he lamented. I used to translate the writings of Kabir which he wished he could have read when he was much younger,” Anita tells you.

(The article also got published in The Pioneer newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/special/my-father-was-a-problem-solver.html).


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