Top cop slams VET booth agents for fleecing people

Mar 21, 2013, 07:44 IST | Sandip Kolhatkar

After receiving complaints from several commuters about some agents from the Vehicle Entry Tax (VET) booths in areas like Pune Cantonment and Khadaki Cantonment charging exorbitant fees, harassing them and using abusive language, commissioner of police Gulabrao Pol directed the crime branch and concerned police stations to lodge extortion cases against the alleged offenders

“We want to send a message to those who pester commuters and try to extort money that if they continue with their ways, they would be nailed and ‘extortion’ cases will be lodged against them. It is a grave issue and we will investigate thoroughly whether or not these people indulge in such acts. If they do, they would not be spared and I’d like to let them know that they are now on the radar of the police,” said Pol.

Talking tough: Commissioner of Police Gulabrao Pol

The CP also called up the police stations from the problem areas and the crime branch and sought details of the VET contractors and their backgrounds. The directives of the top cop hold significance, as VET contractor Vivek Yadav was brutally assaulted by a rival group seeking the same contract in front of the KCB gate, when the victim had come to submit a bid application on February 13.

Pol also directed the anti-dacoity cell inspector Satish Govekar, who is investigating the case, to trace the suspects, who are still at large, and nab them.

Following the attack, Khadaki police had booked Kuldeep Bagwe (son of former minister of state for home Ramesh Bagwe), KCB vice-president Manish Anand, Ahmendnagar-based businessman Vijay Sethi, Tejinder Ahluwalia (who is associated with a political party) and 17 others.

So far, police have arrested six people in the case. However, key suspects like Bagwe and Anand are still absconding.

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