Milk gang caught in the act

Police probe mysterytanker with Sudha label

  • Published 13.10.17
The water tanks used to siphon off milk from the dairy tanker at Ormanjhi, Ranchi, on Thursday. Telegraph picture

Four persons, at least two of them repeat offenders, were arrested for pilfering milk from a 20,000-litre dairy tanker on the outskirts of the state capital in the small hours of Thursday.

Although the vehicle carried the name and logo of Sudha, a brand of Bihar state milk federation, dairy officials of the co-op in Ranchi refused to accept it as one of their own. Police are probing the matter.

Ormanjhi thana OC Santosh Kumar said they acted on a tip-off received by SSP Kuldeep Dwivedi and caught the quartet red-handed from residential premises, hemmed in by a 15ft boundary, close to Jiddu More along Ranchi-Ramgarh stretch of NH-33, some 18km from the city, around 2am.

Three of the arrested have been identified as Sagar Sahu (45), a resident of Pahlu village in Ormanjhi; Dilip Kumar Prasad (40) of the same village; and Rogan Lal Mahto, a resident of Kurum Tetaria Toli in Namkum. The name and address of the driver of the milk tanker is being ascertained.

"Sagar and Rogan Lal are repeat offenders. Sagar went to jail in 2011 on similar charges while Rogan was involved in pilfering milk from a Medha Diary tanker in Namkum a few months ago," said a police officer, adding that the four were produced in court on Thursday and remanded in judicial custody for 14 days. "They have been forwarded to Birsa Munda Central Jail."

Elaborating how Sagar, Rogan Lal and Dilip were nabbed on the spot whereas the driver was arrested after a brief chase, OC Kumar said a four-member quick response team of plainclothes policemen in a car trailed the tanker, bearing Sudha Dairy label, after the SSP got the tip-off.

"The tanker entered the residential premises and the boundary wall was expected to provide cover. But, cops made sure what was going on. They spotted several water tanks of various capacities and pipes to siphon off milk. The gang had barely filled one of the water tanks when it was busted. The driver tried to escape into a crop field, but was chased and nabbed," the OC said.

Chief executive officer of Sudha Dairy in Ranchi Mohammed Maziruddin promptly disowned the milk tanker involved in the pilferage.

"The tanker does not belong to us. According to our information, it was from Barbigha in Begusarai district of Bihar and was on its way to Chandil in Seraikela-Kharsawan. The milk was to be delivered to Osam Dairy (a private initiative). Saying the tanker belongs to us is an attempt to defame Sudha Dairy," he said.

Ormanjhi police said the claim of the Sudha CEO would be probed.'

This is not the first time milk theft in Jharkhand has come to the fore. In June, a gang of pilferers was busted and six of its members arrested from Namkum. They were stealing milk from a Medha Dairy tanker.

In October 2012, a Sudha Dairy tanker was involved in a similar pilferage at Ormanjhi. Two persons were arrested.