Two unidentified persons, who claimed to be policemen, allegedly assaulted three students from Manipur at Shankarsheth Road on Friday night. The men also accused the students of selling drugs and weapons, and on the pretext of checking their identity cards, took their mobile phones and Rs 10,000 in cash, before fleeing from the spot, said police.
When the students approached a police chowky, the cops allegedly ignored their complaint. An FIR was lodged at Khadak police station on Saturday, only after members of the North East Community of Pune (NECOP) and the Manipuri Students Association of Pune (MSAP) intervened in the matter and contacted senior police officers.
The three students — Vikash Thoudam (17), Azimuddin Khan (19) and Ningthoujam Luchingba Singh (19) — have lodged a complaint with the Khadak police station. All of them hail from Manipur and are students of FYBA at the Poona College. They had come to Pune recently and live in Bhavani Peth.
As per the complaint, the incident took place on Friday night, when two persons on a two-wheeler intercepted the students near Meera Hospital on Shankarshet Road.
“The duo claimed to be policemen in plainclothes. We asked them to show their identity cards, but they slapped us. They asked us whether we had come here to sell drugs and weapons…We told them that we were students of Poona College, but the duo asked us for our identity cards. When Vikash took out his wallet, they snatched it. They returned his Aadhar card and ATM card, but took Rs 10,000 in cash, along with the wallet. They also took mine and Ningthoujam’s mobile phones on the pretext of checking them, and asked us to come with them to a police station nearby… While we were following them, the duo escaped on their vehicle,” Azimuddin said.
“We tried to chase the duo, but failed. The Rs 10,000 in cash was to pay the house rent. We are new to the city… the duo were not in uniform, but they acted like professional policemen. We are shocked by the incident,” said Vikash. On the alleged delay in filing the complaint, Nongpok Khaidem, communication secretary of NECOP, said, “After walking some distance, the students found a policeman and went to Kasewadi police chowky with his help. There, the police told them that the FIR could not be registered unless they produced IMEI numbers of the stolen mobile phones. But later, the police extended their full co-operation”.
S K Souriio Hitler, NECOP president, said, “We contacted a deputy commissioner of police for help. We hope the accused are arrested soon.”
However, Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Mokashi of Khadak police station claimed that there was no delay in lodging the FIR and a case has been registered under sections 420, 170, 341, 34 of the Indian Penal Code. A police team has also checked the footage captured by the CCTV camera installed at the traffic signal near Meera Hospital.
According to a local resident, such incidents of thefts have taken place on the same road earlier as well.