The Mandi police in Himachal Pradesh are yet to contact the authorities of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College (BBSBEC), Fatehgarh Sahib, to verify the details given by the youths who were arrested by the Mandi police near Pandhoh on Saturday with fake Indian currency amounting to Rs 72,500.
The four arrested were produced before the court and sent in police remand till September 7. They have been identified as Sandeep Singh, 22, of Halotali village in Fatehgarh Sahib; Yudhvir Singh, 22, of Chanarthal Kalan village in Fatehgarh Sahib; Amandeep Singh from Ali Nangal in Gurdaspur; and a 22-year-old woman from Chamkaur Sahib in Rupnagar.
Sources in the Himachal police told HT that the accused were on their way from Patiala to Manali in an SUV when they were nabbed by the police. The owner of the SUV is Harpreet Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib.
Amandeep told the police that he was an unemployed MPEd holder, while the others told the police that they were B Tech students of BBSBEC.
The police acted on a tip-off from Sundernagar where they had stopped for a meal and paid the bill in fake currency. They were carrying fake currency amounting to more than Rs 1 lakh, which they used on the way.
After their arrest they gave their fake names and addresses to the police but later revealed the real ones. Though the Himachal police are yet to verify the exact amount and the origin of the fake currency, the accused admitted that they had brought it from Patiala. The police have started a search for the supplier of the fake currency.
Sources said the accused supplied the fake currency in the market on commission basis.
According to reports, the accused while travelling from Patiala to Manali on a leisure trip halted at a hotel in Sundernagar where they paid the bill through three Rs-500 notes and continued their journey to Manali.
The accused gave a Rs 500 fake currency note to owner Vijay of Lakshmi Restaurant, Sawal near Pandoh. When he read reports of the students' arrest in the papers, he approached the police and handed over the fake note to them.
The police have booked the accused under Section 489-C of the IPC and Sections 181 and 196 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
College principal Dr Lakhwinder Singh said he was not aware of the arrest of any student of the college by Himachal police. He said the Mandi police had not approached the college authorities.
The principal said the college was verifying whether the arrested youths were students of the college or were making false claims.