A gang of thieves scribbled an apology note after looting a grocery shop in a small town in Madhya Pradesh, accusing three ‘corrupt’ police personnel of forcing them to commit the crime.
The eyeball-grabbing crime was committed on October 12 in Nawrozabad town of Umaria district, about 520 km from state capital Bhopal, police said on Thursday.
The theft and the note – scribbled in Hindi with a marker pen on the wooden counter-top – left the police in an embarrassing situation, more so after angry public confronted them over allegations of corruption.
Police said the crime was the handiwork of a gang and not a single thief.
“We are forced to commit the theft because we are asked to pay weekly protection money by police,” the thieves wrote in Hindi on the shop counter.
They also named assistant sub-inspector Ramakant Pandey and two constables Rahul Vishwakarma and Akash Das in their note saying till the three police personnel are in service "incidents of theft will happen as they force us to commit theft…we have to pay them extortion," the thieves added.
Having justified their cause, the thieves said "sorry" for the crime and added that they were left with no option.
"If we do not pay them (police) money they will arrest us and put us in jail," they added.
The theft was discovered by shop-owner Raja Waswani when he opened the shutters in the morning of October 13.
Police said the thieves made off with Rs 25,000 in cash and grocery items.
Sources said that a large group of people gheraoed the Nawrozabad police station the same day accusing police of being involved in frequent incidents of theft and burglary reported in the town recently.
In-charge of the Nawrozabad police station Ram Mani Kakodiya refuted the allegations and said that the gang was trying to defame the force.
He, however, skirted a question on why the thieves had named only three police personnel. "We will find the reason when we catch the thieves," he told HT.
Kakodiya also added that police have detained over a dozen suspects and matching their handwriting with the note in the shop.
None of the police personnel named by the thieves were available for their reaction to the allegations.