A day after images of city cops lifting the motorbike of a citizen from a parking area of the man’s building were splashed across newspapers, the force appears to have cleared its tarnished image.
The sensational CCTV footage went public showing cops belonging to Warje-Malwadi police station and a hand-cuffed vehicle thief taking away Avinash Deshmukh’s bike from Tanmaypuri Apartment at Dahanukar colony in KothruThe police had said that Rathod, who was arrested at 3.30 am near old octroi post in Warje, had visited Tanmaypuri Apartment twice between 1.30 am and 2.55 am and stole Deshmukh’s bike documents and petrol from other parked bikes.
The police have recovered the CCTV footage from the office-bearers of the society, which supports their claims of Rathod’s misdeeds. Meanwhile, police naik Vincent Swami with the Alankar chowky, who had taken Rs 300 from Deshmukh to lodge an FIR for his missing vehicle and also demanded Rs 2,000 for performing panchnama, has been suspended and an inquiry is ongoing.
Top police officials have warned personnel of stern action if caught indulging in such practices. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Dnyaneshwar Phadtare, said while addressing media persons yesterday at police commissionerate, “The image of the Pune police was maligned after the CCTV footage went on air.
However, the CCTV footage which we have recovered from the office-bearers of the apartment also shows that the suspect had come to Tanmaypuri apartment twice between 1.30 am and 2.55 am and stolen the bike documents and later stole petrol from other vehicles. If you view the previous footage between 1.30 am and 2.55 am, the act of the cops, who were seen taking away the bike is highly appreciated.”
He further said when the team led by PSI Mahendra Shinde was patrolling the Warje area, they spotted Rathod. During questioning he confessed to stealing two bikes from two other locations and the cops also found Deshmukh’s bike documents in his possession. Rathod let the cat out of the bag and told the police that he had kept the bike at Tanmaypuri apartment.
“After knowing that he had stolen a bike and kept it at Tanmaypuri Apartment, the team comprising Shinde and two police constables and civilian Mukesh Sharma, asked Rathod to take them to the place. On reaching the spot, the suspect showed them the bike,” said Phadtare.
“As the police team was not aware that the bike’s owner was residing in the same building, they decided to take the bike along as they though the suspect’s accomplices might take the bike away from the apartment.”
He said the cops followed proper procedure by taking away the bike as they had brought Sharma along as a witness. Sunil Darekar, PI with Warje-Malwadi police, said, “At 11 am, we had called on the mobile number, which was mentioned on the papers and that call went to Deshmukh’s father, who stays in Washim. We told him their bike had been recovered and asked them to come to the chowky.”