Shoplifters and thieves are reported to have struck the recent Aalishan Pakistan trade fair at Pragati Maidan, making off with expensive designer clothing. Police sources said on Friday that on September 14, the last day of the fair, three FIRs were registered by participating Pakistani traders in connection with the theft of clothes brought by them.
In the three cases, two women from Shahdara and a man from Trilokpuri are alleged to have been caught at the scene by the Pakistani traders, who had set up their stalls in Hall Number 18. In the first case, a Lahore resident reports that a woman walked into his stalls (numbers 8 and 9) around 4 pm and allegedly stole six pieces of expensive clothing. The woman, named Sapna, who says she lives in Trilokpuri, was caught by other shopkeepers and later handed over to the police.
On September 14 again, a complaint was lodged by a Karachi trader, who said that a woman bought clothes from his shop and fled without paying. The woman was later identified as one Nirmal Kaur of Shahdara. She was caught by shopkeepers and visitors after a chase inside the venue. The police recovered from Kaur’s possession some expensive clothes of continued on page other brands as well. Kaur told the police that she did not remember where she had stolen the other dresses from.
At the same stall, a little later, there was said to be another theft. A man was found to be in possession of several pieces of clothing from different Pakistani brands. One of the traders asked him to present bills of purchase, which he failed to show. He later admitted he had stolen the goods. The accused was identified as one Vikas from Shahdara.
SBS Tyagi, New Delhi’s additional commissioner of police, said the police had received no complaint from the organisers or the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation regarding the alleged cases of theft.
A senior police officer, who didn’t wish to be named, said, “Thousands of people visit each stall so one has to be alert. They can have their own staff look out for those who are trying to take advantage of the chaos.”
“I had no knowledge of these FIRs. I too had a stall at the exhibition and, while security was okay, it could have been tighter. I do know that designer Huma Adnan of label FNKAsia lost jewellery pieces,” said Sanam Chaudhri, chairperson of Fashion Pakistan, one of the organisers of Aalishan Pakistan.
Huma Adnan of Karachi-based label FNKAsia admitted she suffered losses at the exhibition. “A black, Kutch-inspired anklet worth Rs 15,000 went missing on the second day of the exhibition, she said. “I wanted to file an FIR but didn’t.”
Adnan, whose collection was well-received, added: “From next time, we hope better arrangements will be made. They should get guards to check people’s bags and ask for receipts.”
With inputs from Somya Lakhani