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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Criminals pose as cops, rob trader

Patna, Dec. 1: Criminals in the state capital have mastered a unique way of operation — pose as policemen and strike unsuspecting people, mostly traders.

The latest victim to fall prey to their ploy was a businessman from Kesaria in north Bihar’s East Champaran district. Identified as Krishna Kumar, the trader was robbed of Rs 1.45 lakh by two youths masquerading as policemen in Patna City yesterday.

The criminals’ modus operandi was simple — one of them wearing a police uniform signalled the driver of a pick-up van to stop the vehicle near Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH) under Alamganj police station. As soon as the driver stopped the van, the “policeman” asked him to park it by the side of the road and show him the documents, as it didn’t have the high security registration number plate.

“Show the documents to the bada babu (senior officer), who is authorised to verify the same,” the youth told the occupants of the van, pointing towards his colleague, who was standing on the other side of the road. A motorcycle having an official logo of the police department was parked near the second thug.

The trader alighted from the vehicle and proceeded towards the second criminal to show the documents. In the meantime, another youth in uniform rushed to the vehicle and asked the driver to hand over the bag containing money. The youth in uniform immediately whipped out a pistol and threatened the driver with dire consequences if he tried to raise an alarm.

The driver had no option but to follow the diktat of the pistol wielding youth. He handed over the bag to the criminal, who sped away with the money on their motorcycle towards Bypass road. By the time the trader could realise what happened with the driver, the duo had already vanished from the spot.

Krishna immediately informed the Alamganj police station about the incident. The policemen got details of the modus operandi of the new breed of criminals from the trader and the driver. “We have received a written complaint about the loot from a businessman of East Champaran district,” said B.K. Singh, the station house officer (SHO) of Alamganj police station.

He added that a complaint has been lodged and raids were on to catch the gang involved in the robbery. The officer added that the businessman was relieved of money while going to Bazaar Samiti (Patna City) from Kesaria in a similar pick-up van. “We hope the case would be solved soon,” the SHO told The Telegraph today.

Three similar incidents have been reported from various areas of the capital in the past month. A youth posing as a policeman extorted a businessman of Bakerganj market under Pirbahore police station early this month. Deputy inspector-general (Central range) Sunil Kumar said: “We are cautious and would check their activities.”