100 autos plying with tampered meters: Cops
The switch to electronic meters in autorickshaws was meant to prevent drivers from overcharging commuters. However, the Mumbai crime branch has now discovered that more than 100 autos have been fitted with tampered meters in the western suburbs.
Four accused, who were arrested by unit 9 of the city crime branch on September 27, for allegedly altering the calibration of e-meters, have given a list of more than 100 autos plying between Borivli and Kandivli, with tampered equipment.
The four accused have been identified as Jakir Yusuf Jahagirdar, 45; Mohammad Bilal Faqir Mohammad Mansur, 45; Amin Ramzan Pathan, 23; and Sanjay Maruti Sherkar, 22.
According to a police officer, their modus operandi was to cut the meter wire and use an electronic circuit which connects with a switch fitted near the steering.
The driver would only have to press a button to hike the fare.
“A police team intercepted two autos in Borivli (East). While checking the vehicle, they found that the meters were tampered with. The drivers later confessed that they used an electronic circuit to increase the auto fare,” said senior inspector Mahesh Desai, unit 9.
“The regional transport office (RTO) verified that the meters were tampered with, following which, a case was registered against the auto drivers. During the inquiry, they revealed the names of two other persons who work as meter mechanics at a garage in Borivli,” said Desai.
Police have now seized six autos and are questioning several auto drivers in the case.
Soon after the crime branch arrested all four accused, some auto drivers who were using tampered meters either fled the city or removed the electronic circuits from their vehicles, said officers.