The coronavirus outbreak has forced Punjab Police to bust its own lie. Days after Ludhiana city police held a press conference to declare that a police party had arrested two snatchers during a special checking drive, the cops have now admitted that it was actually two alert citizens who nabbed the two — one among them, a 24-year-old who tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.
The admission came in a contact-tracing list prepared by the police on April 9, which declared that the ‘infected thief’ was caught and brought to Industrial Area (Jeewan Nagar) police post by two locals. In an earlier, April 6, press note, the police had patted its own back for arresting the man for alleged theft and snatching. The press conference to give out this information was held by Inspector Mohammad Jameel, SHO Focal Point police station. The press note had read, “After getting a tip-off, naakabandi (special checking) was conducted near Sharu Steels in Focal Point area where both accused were nabbed by police with a stolen mobile and a motorbike…”
But in the contact-tracing list of 18 people, the police admits that these two men had come in ‘direct contact’ with the infected snatcher as it was actually them who had nabbed the both accused and brought them to police post.
A 35-year-old resident of New Shivaji Nagar, who along with his friend had successfully nabbed both snatchers from Jeewan Nagar on April 5 evening, has now put himself in self-quarantine. Speaking to The Indian Express, he said, “I and my friend were distributing langar to the labourers in Jeewan Nagar area on April 5 evening when these two snatchers were running away after snatching a mobile phone from someone. We nabbed them and took them to a nearby police chowki. We were informed by police Thursday that one of them has been tested positive for coronavirus so we have to quarantine ourselves. I am taking all precautions and I was wearing mask and gloves when we caught them. I am clueless about why police said that they held the accused.”
Now, a total of 18 persons, including sixteen cops and these two men, are in quarantine whereas the second snatcher had managed to escape from police custody at Civil Hospital before his samples could be taken. He continues to be absconding.
When contacted, Inspector Jameel said, “Sometimes we have to work as per the system to ensure that accused are convicted in court. Private witnesses mostly turn hostile leading to acquittal.
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