HT Special: Rs100 money orders help Mumbai police catch absconders

It’s this effort that has led Mumbai police to cut down on the number of absconders

mumbai Updated: Jan 23, 2018 22:14 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,HT Special,Mumbai police

Vivekanand Parvade, 35, had been absconding in a case since 1999 as he had fled to Solapur, where he was working as a waiter in a hotel. He went to the extent of assuming a new name to evade arrest, but a money order got him caught.

To track him down, the Mumbai police had, last week, sent a money order of Rs 100 was to Parvade’s residence and its receipt confirmed Parvade’s presence. A team of Deonar police officers arrested him soon after.

This ingenious method was also used in the first week of January to arrest 43-year-old Maruti Panhalkar wanted in a robbery case since 2001. Panhalkar had moved to Satara and become a farmer. Another scenario in which the police used this technique was to arrest Parshuram Kinlippa, 38, who was working as a driver for a private goods carrier company, but was wanted in a robbery case in Masjid Bunder since 1993.

It’s this effort that has led Mumbai police to cut down on the number of absconders, which the Bombay High Court had described as “alarming and disturbing” when it had seen that 13,000 convicts or undertrials in Mumbai had jumped the conditions of leave and were at large in 2012. The angst expressed by the HC came from the fact that the court had taken suo motto cognizance of the issue in 2004. After drawing ire from HC, cops formed special teams and today the number of absconders in Mumbai stand at 4020.

According to the Deonar police officers, a special team had been formed to arrest absconding accused after the Mumbai police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar gave orders to all police stations to make efforts and reduce the number of absconders. As per the statistics, in 2017 the Mumbai police officers have managed to arrest approximately 150 absconders in each of its 12 zones.

The crackdown which was handled systematically also included questioning those who stood as surety to bail out the accused from the court. But tracking was not easy as absconders who were on the run for years had changed their names and addresses, and some had even left the city. Informers were alerted across the state, who through concentrated efforts, started tracking down the accused, and came back to police officials with current whereabouts of the accused.

“We had to confirm that the accused were actually staying at those addresses for which we devised a plan and sent money orders of Rs100 to those addresses,” said a senior police officer. Once the money order was received, the police team could confirm that the accused was present at his new house and arrest him after laying a trap.

To make sure these accused do not jump bail again, police are booking them for absconding under a new amendment Sections 174 (A) and 229 (A) to the Indian Penal code, which makes it a non-bailable offence. “The number of absconders and wanted accused increases with time. Hence, a special drive was conducted to nab as many people as possible. All the police stations were asked to crack down on the absconding accused with focus on those who booked in serious cases,” said Dyneshwar Chavan, deputy commissioner of police (Zone 2).

First Published: Jan 23, 2018 22:14 IST