The Telegraph
Tuesday , October 9 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fake patrol busted

Three men, posing as policemen and extorting truck drivers on a highway, were arrested early on Monday after their luck ran out once authorities got suspicious about a massive jam the illicit “checking” operation had triggered early on Monday.

Mithilesh Singh, Krishna Kumar and Srikant Kumar, all in their 30s, were posing as deputy superintendents of police on patrol and merrily stopping trucks near the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) gate on NH-33 and asking for as much as Rs 5,000 from each driver.

Police sources claimed the three, residents of residents of Kokar, Jamui and Hazaribagh respectively, must have collected as much as Rs 30,000 in all.

“One of our patrol vans spotted a huge line of trucks on the highway late on Sunday night,” said Rajdeo Singh, in-charge of Namkum police station. “We hadn’t scheduled any checking that night. So, when they got closer to find out they realised the trucks were being stopped by some touts in the name of verification of papers.”

According to the police, the three men were asking for vehicle documents from all the drivers and irrespective of whether their papers were in order or not, they demanded Rs 5,000.

“The three displayed a lot of guts as none thought anything of blocking half the highway with barricades to force the trucks to stop. They also pelted stones on the trucks that did not stop,” Singh said.

Mobile DSPs are assigned by the police traffic wing to keep tabs on the movement of vehicles on highways and also co-ordinate with networks of patrolling vehicles in respective areas.

Extortion on highways isn’t a new phenomenon in the state. It’s a fairly common occurrence and apart from truck drivers, even private citizens in cars are known to have been victims of such gangs that ask for money in the name of puja or community service.

Monday’s arrest, in that sense was significant. Singh admitted the problem was rampant and asked travellers to always complain to the police if they encountered such gangs.

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