The arrest of a university professor, who also happens to be a leader of the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), has blown the lid off a flourishing racket involving second hand sale of stolen vehicles, especially SUVs, in the Bihar market. Police arrested him from his Rajendra Nagar residence last night.
The professor is Amarnath Gupta, posted with the Department of Chemistry at the famous Guru Gobind Singh College, Patna City. Presently, he is on deputation at the neighbouring RPM Mahila College, which has acute shortage of teachers. He had also recently contested the election for the Legislative Council.
The matter came to light after one Raju Kumar lodged an FIR in Bhabua, alleging forgery in the sale of a Scorpio vehicle. Kumar had bought the vehicle from Gupta. However, he soon detected discrepancies in the engine and chassis numbers. Alarmed, he returned the vehicle and asked for refund, but Gupta refused.
On the basis of the complaint, the police first arrested a confectionary shop owner Girija Prasad Keshri from Bhabua and later raided the residence of Gupta. “We are investigating the matter. Prima facie, Gupta seems involved, as he is the one who sold the vehice,” said Kaimur SP Pradeep Kumar Srivastava.
Magadh University (MU), under which both the college Gupta is associated with fall, has sought a report from the principal. “The teacher will be immediately suspended if he is involved in car theft. Action will be initiated as soon as we get the report,” said MU Vice Chancellor BN Pandey.
Patna SSP Vineet Vinayak said that it was not an isolated case. “We keep detecting such cases off and on. Unscrupulous elements procure vehicles from Delhi or elsewhere and dump it in the Bihar market. People fall for it as they are cheap. Since there is no system of on-line registration, it becomes difficult to verify unless there is a complaint,” he added.
According to sources, a large number of vehicles in Patna are running on fake registration numbers. High-profile persons and their hangers on are also using them. “Those involved with the racket tamper with the chassis and engine numbers before applying for fresh registration. All they have to do is to procure an affidavit,” said the SSP.