From buffaloes and gold to trucks and motorcycles: It was post-Diwali bonanza for 250 victims of theft as the police returned stolen valuables worth R5.25 crore to their owners at a function at police lines here on Thursday.
During the function, which meant celebrations for many, the police returned Rs. 8 lakh in cash, gold, 18 trucks and buses, 20 tractor-trolleys, 92 two-wheelers, 45 four-wheelers, and electronic and household appliances, which had been recovered from accused in theft cases. Such was the variety of goods distributed that a farmer was also returned his two buffaloes that were stolen earlier this year.
The function did bring a smile on many faces. For Amritsar resident Munna Kumar, who was robbed of 1.5-kilogram gold at Nabha in September this year, the function was a godsend: "I am elated and falling short of words to thank the police. The loot -1.5-kg gold is worth R45lakh as per current market prices - had left me bankrupt. Now, I am a millionaire again. Hands down, the credit goes to the police," he said, adding that though the accused had been arrested, his gold was returned today.
Tirlok Singh, who had been rendered jobless after some thieves had stolen his truck earlier this year, was staring at bankruptcy and had lost hope to send his children to a better school. "But, hopefully, now everything will be back on track. I paid petty bribes to cops for traffic violations many times and often used to criticise the police. Now, I am indebted to them," Tirlok Singh said when he got back the keys of his truck.
Patiala inspector general Paramjit Singh Gill presided over the function, which also meant good news for Rajpura resident Himanshu Arora, who had been duped of Rs. five lakh.
Gill said the police would dispose of unclaimed belonging. "A proposal is already in the pipeline," he said. This was the third such function to be organised by the police in Patiala.
Gill, meanwhile, congratulated the police officers who had recovered the stolen goods. "The police are usually busy it takes a special effort to organise such a function," he said.
Senior superintendent of police Gurpreet Singh Gill, meanwhile, called for more cooperation from the public. "If the people are organised against crime, then society would have no space for anti-social elements," he said, adding that the police were making special efforts to curb crime against women.