The 31-year-old, who was pulled up for jumping a red signal, had been masquerading as a police sub-inspector of Thane Police for a year to avoid paying tolls
A Rajasthan-based businessman’s cheap drives on the state’s roads are over, after police arrested him for using a fake police identity (ID) card to avoid paying tolls at inter-state toll nakas.
Ramesh Khutia and his fake police ID card, which says he is a police sub-inspector
The incident occurred at 5.30 pm on Tuesday, when Ramesh Velji Khuthia (31) and his two friends Vishal Kantilal Gada (31) and Puneet Damji Shah (24) were intercepted by the Worli traffic police constables for jumping a red signal.
Constables Rajpure, Sudhakar Shinde, Sunil Gite and Sheikh
Recalled Constable Sunil Gite, “I and my three colleagues Sudhakar Shinde, Rajpure and Sheikh were stationed at Senapati Bapat Marg near the Famous Studio signal. A car jumped the signal and we stopped it. We asked the driver to pay a fine for jumping the signal and having tinted glasses.”
Constable Shinde added, “The driver was very rude and the people seated in the back shouted at us, asking how we could stop them. The driver told us that the person sitting behind was a police officer from Thane police station.”
Police asked all the trio to step out of the car. They also asked the ‘Thane police officer’ to show his ID card. Khuthia flashed his card, which showed he was a police sub-inspector (PSI). It also had the signature of the joint police commissioner, almost matching the genuine signature.
However, Gite’s keen eye noticed an anomaly. “In the photograph, he was wearing a uniform with three stars on the shoulder, whereas a PSI only has two stars,” said the constable. On being asked where he received his police training, the garment businessman fumbled and replied that he had learnt his cop chops in Pune. “We don’t have a Pune training centre,” Gite informed.
Khuthia eventually confessed that he was a businessman who had been flashing the card at toll plazas during his frequent inter-state travels from Maharashtra to his home state, Rajasthan. All this had been a plan to avoid paying the tolls he would also use the card at the Thane-Mulund toll naka.
Mohsin Shaikh, a social worker who was at the spot when the incident occurred, confirmed that the trio had been shouting at the constables. “When they were caught, they begged their case and asked not to be taken to the police station. These are educated people doing such things,” Shaikh said.
The three were taken to N M Joshi Marg police station. Assistant police inspector Mohammad Patel told mid-day, “The main accused Khuthia made the police ID card after downloading it from our website. The other two have also been arrested.
They have been charged under sections 170 (personating a public servant), 465 (forgery), 420 (cheating) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention). They were produced in the Dadar court and remanded to police custody.”