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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Cops can’t silence prankster; tune out

The police in Kerala’s Kollam district have finally earned back their peace after they managed to silence the merry prankster, who would bark disorienting commands into the exclusive police radio frequency at odd moments, reports Ramesh Babu.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2008 17:43 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times

The police in Kerala’s Kollam district have earned back their peace after two harrowing years. They have silenced the merry prankster who would bark disorienting commands into the exclusive police radio frequency at odd moments. But this they haven’t managed to do by nabbing the mischief-monger; instead, they have changed the very frequency on which they communicate.

Trouble started when a wireless set that had been lost fell into the hands of a tech-savvy youth. Since then, every other time the police — especially women officers — would pick up their wireless sets, they would get a mouthful from the other end. Once, when Meghalaya Governor M.M. Jacob was passing through the city, a dutiful officer passed on the message to his seniors. Pat came the reply: “Why don’t you shoot him?”

The prankster even fooled top officers. Once when S. Gopinath, SP of Kollam, called the Kulathupuzha police station, he got the reply: “All cops and paraphernalia were washed away in a flash flood.” The shocked SP had to make several calls to verify the case.

The thief seemed to harbour a special distaste for visiting VIPs. So on such occasions, the cops would often put their wireless sets on the silent mode.

Southern range IG A. Sinha confirmed: “The lost set was posing a security threat. So we changed the frequency.”

The harried cops had been investigating the theft for more than two years. They had formed special cells and approached technical experts to locate the missing set. But the prankster had the last laugh.