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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

'We are looking into issue of abandoned high security plates'

Sachin Sharma, Hindustan Times  Bathinda, November 29, 2013
First Published: 18:36 IST(29/11/2013) | Last Updated: 19:34 IST(29/11/2013)

Some high-security registration plates (HSRPs) were found abandoned outside the office of the district transport officer (DTO) on Sunday. The presence of HSRPs in such a condition had raised a question mark on the functioning of the DTO office and the private firm, Agro Imtex India, that had been allotted the work of manufacturing these plates because abandoned plates could have lead to misuse of vehicles, defying the very purpose of introducing HSRPs. HT talked to DTO Damanjeet Singh on the circumstances under which these plates were found abandoned and consequences thereof.

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Why were HSRPs found abandoned in the open outside your office?
In the initial inquiry and as per the claims of private firm, it has emerged that these HSRPs are among those stolen from the office of the firm in September last. An FIR in this regard was lodged in the civil lines police station.

Do you think it can lead to misuse of HSRPs by mischievous elements?
Surely, there was an apprehension of the misuse of these plates. That is why the firm registered an FIR in this connection. Perhaps an FIR would not have been lodged, had these been ordinary number plates.

Are registration numbers on HSRPs were in the list of plates that were stolen?
It is not certain that these HSRPs are among those stolen, but as the company has claimed that the unique identification number on these plates reflect this, we have to go by their version till the firm submits a reply in this connection to my office. As per the FIR, three-four bags of such plates were stolen from the office.

How these "stolen plates" appeared after such a long time?
I cannot tell how these number plates appeared after a long gap. Probably, the bad elements who had stolen these plates might have placed these plates there. But it is difficult to say anything with certainty.

Why haven't you reported the matter to police till now?
We are conducting preliminary inquiries into the matter. Once we are sure that these plates are among those stolen last year, we will report the matter to police. It will become clear only after the firm will submit its report on the show-cause notice issued to it.

What action will you take to ensure that such incidents do not happen again?
We have asked the firm to file a report in this matter by issuing a show-cause notice. Report in this matter will be sent to the state transport commissioner. We have asked the firm to install close-circuit TV cameras on the premises where these plates are kept and deploy security personnel at that place. A report to private firms head will also be sent in this connection.

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