Transport firm owner, Mahesh Shetty (40), who was on his way to Pune with a friend to bring back his bus that had been impounded by the Pune RTO, left a bag containing Rs 1.20 lakh in cash and the papers for the bus in an autorickshaw at Andheri.
Shetty alleges that the Andheri Police station officials took three hours to register his complaint instead of acting swiftly to apprehend the auto driver. "They even refused to register a case," Shetty said.
From 9 pm on Monday night till 8 am Tuesday morning, Shetty and his friends roamed all over the suburbs trying to trace the auto. Shetty finally manage to get his hands on some CCTV footage near Vile Parle where they had earlier stopped for tea, but the rickshaw’s number cannot be clearly seen in the CCTV images. “Even after we took the footage to the authorities, they just kept reviewing it the entire day, and finally told us that it would take at least a week for them to decipher the vehicle number of the auto. By then, the driver would have spent all the money or left the city,” Shetty said.
Shetty, along with his friend Ransom Burroughs, caught a rickshaw from Borivli around 6 am on Monday, to head to Bisleri bus stop in Andheri where they were going to board a Volvo bus that would take them to Pune. Shetty’s 52-seater-bus (he owns a transport company) had been seized by the Pune RTO (near Sangam Bridge) over some issues, and had been impounded since. He was going there to pay off a fine of Rs.1, 20,000 levied on his vehicle, and bring it back home. “I wanted to conduct the Dussehra pooja on it on time,” said Shetty. On the way to Vile Parle, the duo stopped at their office in Goregaon to pick up the batteries for the bus.
Big batteries, big trouble
On the way, they stopped for tea at Vile Parle and then continued to Bisleri bus stop in Andheri. Once they got there, they hurriedly unloaded the batteries. “I paid the driver Rs 350 even though the meter was showing Rs 280,” said Shetty. After the auto left, Shetty realised that he had left his black bag – with the cash and vehicle papers in it – in the rickshaw itself.
“We immediately called the police control room, who advised us to go to the nearest police station,” said Shetty. “All my original Income tax and vehicle papers are in that bag.” Once he and Ransom reached Andheri Police station and narrated their plight, the authorities, took three hours to even hear their case, Shetty said.