When parts of Haryana’s Munak canal dried up last month, after it was taken over by protesters during the Jat quota agitation, an unlikely sight greeted local residents. At the bottom of the canal lay the skeletons of several vehicles, stripped of their batteries, tyres and other parts.
Most of them were motorcycles, stolen from Delhi between August and October last year and dumped at the bottom of the canal after their essential parts were removed. Munak canal is one of the main sources of water for the residents of Delhi.
When police tried to trace the owners of the vehicles, they ran into an unexpected hurdle. Most of the owners had already claimed, and collected, insurance for their stolen vehicles, after police filed ‘untraced’ reports in the courts concerned.
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Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer district), Vikramjit Singh confirmed that 11 stolen motorcycles had been recovered from the canal, but refused to divulge any more details. A special team comprising personnel from Samaypur Badli police station is investigating the case, said sources.
“We are considering the possibility that some of the motorcycles were stolen only for joyrides. Once the fuel ran out, the thieves dumped them inside the canal,” said a police officer. The abandoned motorcycles were spotted on February 21 by local residents, who informed personnel at the Samaypur Badli police station. To retrieve the motorcycles, policemen had to seek help from the fire department; it took nearly an hour to pull out the damaged motorcycles from the bottom of the canal.
Police managed to track down the owners of the motorcycles from the engine chassis number of the considerably damaged vehicles. “Of the 11 vehicles, seven were traced to Samaypur Badli, and one each to Shalimar Bagh, Janakpuri, Rani Bagh and Jahangirpuri,” said a police officer.