A day after President Pratibha Patil concluded her four-day visit to Pune, the possibility of an attempt to breach her security came to light on Tuesday.
The city police claimed to have intercepted a Maruti Swift car with a Delhi registration number and fake national emblem on the University Road from where Patil’s convoy was to pass on Saturday.
The two suspects in the car — Pintoo Sengupta, 40, and Susan (second name not known), 28 — had fled after parking the car while the convoy was being escorted by the police to their commissioner’s office. The police later arrested Pintoo. He has been booked for the misuse of national emblem. Further investigations are on.
The Crime Branch of the Pune police has collected some sketchy information about the duo from Sengupta’s brother Tapan.
“Tapan told the police that Pintoo is his brother and has not been in contact with the family for the past few years. We have already started an investigation and are looking for duo. But at the moment we cannot say if it was an attempt to breach the President’s security,” Joint Commissioner of Police Rajendra Sonawane said
Sonawane said the police had been to an address on Baner Road after Tapan informed them about his brother’s possible residence. “But we found it locked,” he said.
On the day the police found the car, the President had received an e-mail threat from an unidentified person. The e-mail had threatened to target the President during her Pune tour.
Sonawane said, “The intercepted car had nothing in it except a fake emblem. The police have seized the car.”
The silver-coloured Swift with the registration number DL-9C-I-2140 was seized 45 minutes before Patil’s convoy was to pass through the university route en route to Raj Bhavan, where she was staying.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said their suspicion was aroused when they saw the car with a national emblem and ‘Government Of India’ painted on it.