FOR ALL those men who believe the anonymous person sending them messages on the phone of undying “friendship” with the beauty featured in the accompanying photograph, here is a message from the police: look before you leap. The district police said they had busted a gang duping such unsuspecting men. The victim would be asked to reach a rendezvous, where instead of the woman of his dreams, a gang of nearly a dozen men would be waiting. They would set upon the victim, beat him and rob him of his money and other valuables.
The police have arrested one person in the case. Of the six others booked, two are residents of the CRPF campus in Chandigarh, while another two live on the ITBP campus. The case came to light when a man, whose identity has not been revealed, approached the police and narrated how he was beaten up and his money was snatched by 10-12 people after he went to meet a woman, who told him on the phone to reach a spot in Zirakpur. Zirakpur SHO Sub-Inspector Jagjeet Singh laid a trap and managed to arrest one of the accused who was waiting for another victim.
Jagjeet Singh said that they have booked Sachin Ranawat, a resident of Behlana in Chandigarh; Saurabh Saklani, Akshay Deewan, both residents of CRPF campus in Chandigarh, Saurabh Chouhan, Mohit Taneja, both residents of ITBP campus in Behlana and Surinder Partap Singh also a resident of Chandigarh.
The SI added that Saurabh had been arrested while the others were absconding. Saurabh was produced in a local court and sent to one-day police custody Wednesday. The police also came to know that the accused have duped more than 15 persons but most of the victims are not coming forward citing “personal problems”.
Explaining the modus-operandi of the accused, the IO said the accused first used to send the pictures of women to the people from unknown phone numbers and promise to faciliate a friendship with these women. They would then call their victims and set up “meetings” with these women at different locations in Chandigarh and Zirakpur “We arrested Saurabh on Wednesday, we are yet to question him,” the SI said.
The IO said the accused were now active in Zirakpur and surrounding areas. “The man who gave the tip-off did not lodge a complaint but told us that the accused were active in Zirakpur area following which we laid a trap and arrested Saurabh,” the SI said. All the accused were booked under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) at Zirakpur police station.