From the February 2016 issue of The Rotarian
Growing up in India, Sachin Rane dreamed of being a police officer like his father and grandfather. “Our walls were decorated with uniformed pictures of my ancestors,” he says. But he never imagined how far police work would take him.
Area of focus: Promoting peace
Occupation: Detective inspector
Peace Center: Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, 2013
Rane became a Mumbai police officer in 1991. He investigated bombings, kidnappings, and murders while working for a variety of law enforcement branches, including the Central Bureau of Investigation, the immigration unit, and the serious crimes unit. In 1999, he came across a federal government call for officers needed at the United Nations International Police Task Force. He was fascinated by the job description and the opportunity to work internationally. He applied and was sent to Kosovo.
There, Rane worked as a firearms instructor and helped train Kosovo’s nascent police force. Later, he was one of eight Indian officers chosen for a UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, which has been divided between Turkey and Greece since 1974.
In 2013, Rane was selected for a short-term Rotary Peace Fellowship at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. There, he studied international human rights law, security sector reform, theories of neutrality, racial discrimination, and the importance of neutral third-party intervention in conflicts. That year, Rane put what he learned into practice when he was selected to be a crime investigation officer at the UN Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, a new nation still suffering from decades of civil war. The tensions between Dinka and Nuer groups kept everything on edge and often boiled over into violence.
The demands of the job were high stakes.
“One day, I received a call to immediately rush to the site where a mob had held a person suspected of murdering his wife and child,” he recalls. “I responded and found a man tied to a wooden pole amid an angry mob trying to lynch him. I had to use all my diplomatic qualities to pacify the mob and prevent them from harming that suspect. I held the mob back successfully until reinforcements arrived and we could evacuate him safely for further legal action.”
Back in Mumbai investigating economic offenses like fraud, Rane is different today. “After the training that I received in the Rotary peace course, I have become more people-oriented rather than a rigid law enforcer,” he says. “I try to study the causes that lead to an incident.”