Post Office drops claim for £3000
THE sub-postmaster badly hurt when he tackled raiders has finally been given the stamp of approval by the Post Office. Dilip Karavadra was left unconscious with a serious head injury and broken arm after being attacked with an iron bar in his sub-post off
THE sub-postmaster badly hurt when he tackled raiders has finally been given the stamp of approval by the Post Office.
Dilip Karavadra was left unconscious with a serious head injury and broken arm after being attacked with an iron bar in his sub-post office at Upper Caldecote.
But he was astonished when the Post Office, far from praising his bravery, ordered him to pay £3,000 of the £6,695 which had been stolen. It originally demanded £6,000.
The Post Office partly blamed him for the loss because he moved away from an open hatch which the raiders got through to take the cash.
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Mr Karavadra, who feared he would be killed or his customers hurt in the raid last December, said: "What the Post Office is not taking into account is I prevented another £14,000 being taken from the safe because I fought back and they fled."
His protests about the repayment demand led to him being told to appear before a Post Office hearing in St Albans today (Thursday) to appeal against the claim.
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North East Beds MP Alistair Burt took up the case saying Mr Karavadra should be hailed a hero and warning that he would raise his case in the House of Commons if the Post Office did not back down.
The Comet's front page story last week about Mr Karavadra's plight was followed up by national newspapers and regional TV and radio.
And on Tuesday Mr Burt was happy to reveal that the Post Office had had a change of heart and dropped its demand for £3,000.
The decision was made by PO managing director Alan Cook who told Mr Burt that on reflection he felt that the Post Office might have been too concerned about the rule book and lost sight of the impact of the incident on Mr Karavadra.
"I am very pleased that the Post Office has seen sense, and that Mr Cook has been good enough to withdraw the hearing and settle the matter without putting Mr Karavadra through a further ordeal," said Mr Burt.
"I am delighted for Dilip, and wish to express my thanks to so many people who rallied round him and expressed their support.
"All the local leaders in the community, villagers and others from further afield believe that Dilip was a hero and should not have carried any blame for the vicious attack and robbery."
He added: "One of the reasons why I highlighted this case was to ask the PO to consider whether in principle it was applying its rules too tightly and whether it might be more generous to victims of such incidents in the future.
"I will be pursuing this matter with them, but in the meantime recognise and thank the Post Office for what it has done in this particular case."
For Mr Karavadra it was the end of six months of hell.
The good news was "fabulous. I was choked up and ecstatic".
And he had special praise for The Comet, saying: "Your story was marvellous, the best of any paper.