Situated around 15 km from Niwari district headquarter, the village has a population of around 250 people. Villagers say that while their crimeless existence might not be normal for the world but for them, it will not be normal if they ever had to go to a police station.
Like hundreds of Indian villages, Hathiwar Khirak has a congregation of kutcha-pucca houses with patches of fields, lots of space, and a hustling environment.
The village falls under Prithvipur police station and the nearest cities are Jhansi on the Uttar Pradesh side and Tikamgarh on the Madhya Pradesh side.
The village has a population of around 60 families of which nearly 150 people are enlisted as voters.
The village is dissected by a pucca cemented road passing through the village. Living on one side, Manoj Kumar Gautam, a teacher by profession, says that the people of Hathiwar Khirak live in togetherness.
"I am 55 years old, and I remember there has been no police case in the last 30-40 years in our village. If anything happens, they call me, and other elders are called. We have been able to resolve any issues that had popped up in these years successfully. Everybody is very understanding."said Manoj Kumar Gautam standing outside his house in Hathiwar Khirak.
The impeccable record held by the village made news when a local police station officer went to the village, amid the preparations for the local body elections.
“I was on patrol duty during the elections, and when I entered the village, the women, sitting outside their homes, looked at me with disbelief. I asked them why they were shocked, and behaving like they had never seen a policeman. They then told me that the village has not seen a policeman in a long time.”Santosh Kumar Patel, Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Prithvipur
Santosh Kumar further said that he got the local police station to look up the records and found that the village indeed hasn't had a case registered in the last 39 years.
The police officer said:
"Every policeman wants to work for the betterment of the community and villages like Hathiwar Khirak are a morale booster for all of us. Such villages should be taken up as a role model and others should learn from them."Santosh Kumar, Police Officer
“Ever since I got married and came here, decades ago, I have never seen police in my village. We are innocent people minding our lives. Anyone going about their lives would not want to get involved in any police or legal issues. We don’t even think about going to the police if there’s a fight. We find solutions together,” said a woman.
Village Panchayat Ensures Matters Are Resolved Amicably, Within the Village
Sitting on the recently cemented platform under the shade of neem and peepal trees in the middle of the village, people of Hathiwar Khirak discuss, debate, and pass down mutual directives to resolve conflicts.
"First of all, we don't fight. We talk, discuss, sit together and find out the best possible solution. Moreover, the people respect the village's legacy of not involving police, and so everybody does their part to ensure that our village's excellent track record remains untainted."Malkhan Ahirwar, 62
Many like Malkhan say that the village panchayat and community leaders have passed on from one generation to another a sense of treating the village as one big family. And that helps strengthen the bonds between families, he adds.
'Learnt to Find Solution Together': Village Youth
Shreyansh Gautam, in his early twenties, while speaking to The Quint, mentions that the only time he had seen police was during elections.
“As far as I can recall, there hasn’t been any major fight in the village. We have learnt right from our childhood, by seeing our elders, how to resolve all problems among ourselves. We have learnt to talk through things and not lose our cool. We respect our villagers and we all live like a family, like brothers, so we don’t go to the police.”Shreyansh Gautam.
(with inputs from Jai Prakash)