CHANDIGARH VEHICLES had been finding their way to Jammu and Kashmir for the last two years. Mohammed Sahib Ansari, 35, a resident of Sector 56, who is a native of Kashmir, had formed a vehicle-lifter gang with his three accomplices in Delhi two years ago.
The gang was busted when one of the members, Aslam, was caught red-handed stealing a Swift in Sector 38 on December 17.
Usually, vehicle-lifter gangs dispose of the vehicles stolen from Chandigarh in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is for the first time when a gang involved in disposing of vehicles in J&K was busted.
Sources said Ansari had shifted to Chandigarh from Delhi two years ago. He is a tailor and has a shop in Sector 56. Earlier, he ran his shop in Delhi. Two of his three accomplices — Mohammed Saleem, 40, and Sabir Ahmed Bhatt, 55 — are from Anantnag. The two are motor mechanics. The third one identified as Aslam, 55, is a resident of Ludhiana. He is a driver and mechanic. He is also a native of J&K. Ansari disclosed during the interrogation that he met his accomplices at a mosque in Delhi two years ago.
A police officer said, “Sahib Ansari admitted their involvement in a number of vehicle theft cases, especially four-wheelers, in the last two years. He claimed that he stole cars on demand of his accomplices. He drove these vehicles to Anantnag, charged Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 depending on the make and mode of the vehicle and returned. Aslam had accompanied him to Anantnag several times. The gang members revealed the names of their other accomplices too. But they were not found at their hideouts, including two garages.”
ASP (south) Shruti Arora said, “We are in the process of establishing the sequence of events. Although all the four gang members were sent to judicial custody, we have certain leads about their accomplices. We took the assistance of J&K Police but failed to arrest the accused in Anantnag.”
A team comprising the Sector 39 SHO, Inspector Amanjot Singh, ASI Ashok Kumar, and others had gone to Anantnag along with the gang members. The team returned empty-handed. Sources said mechanics Saleem and Ahmed Bhatt used to dismantle the cars, change their spare parts and further sold these at the motor markets. A case against them was registered at Sector 39 police station.
Sector 39 SHO Amanjot Singh was found COVID-19 positive after his return from J&K. Two other cops, who were part of the police team, have developed symptoms but they are yet to be medically examined. The team returned on Monday night. ASP Shruti Arora said, “This development also hampers our investigation. The four accused were tested COVID-19 negative before sending them to Model Burail Jail.”
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