Cops harass goldsmiths, jewellers to 'mine' gold

Cops harass goldsmiths, jewellers to 'mine' gold

Its a peculiar and ticklish issue, says City Police Commissioner

Everything was going on smooth untill recently when the cops started acting tough. Perhaps the enthusiasm of the cops to nab the culprits or to ‘recover’ the gold and the modus operandi used by the cops to ‘recover’ the gold, is worrying the jewellers as well as goldsmiths.

Take for example, a recent case when cops, based on a thief’s “confession” demanded gold from a well known jewellery shop. The jeweller had to hand over 58 grams (initially cops demanded more gold which was later settled down to 58 grams) of gold as the thief had reportedly told the police that he had sold the gold to the jeweller.

However, the police finally returned the gold as it was ‘proved’ that the thief had not sold the gold to him. “He could get back the gold because he is a big jeweller. But what about small jewellery shop owners or goldsmiths,” questions a goldsmith, who does not wish to be quoted.

Costly affair

But Ratnakar Achary of Boliyar in Belthangady was not as lucky as the jeweller who got back the gold.

On June 10, 2011, Achary visited a temple (as it was his 49th birthday) and was nearing his little shop when a cop in a civil dress arrived in a bike and started making enquiries about three persons, namely, Anand Achary, Ganesh and Ramesh. As Ratnakar did not know them, the cop left the place after some more enquiries, only to return in a jeep with police inspector and other police personnel.

“They asked me to return 88 grams of gold which a particular thief had reportedly sold to me,” Ratnakar said and added that any amount of his pleas went in vain. “The inspector even threatened me to take to the police station with hand cuffs, if I refused to give them 88 grams of gold,” he said and added that the police finally settled for 44 grams of gold. But Achary, a poor goldsmith, could not manage to arrange even 44 grams, just to escape arrest.  As a result, he was taken to the police station on June 10 and released in the wee hours of June 12, as he managed to give 44 grams of gold to the police on June 11.

In fact, Achary handed over his wife’s mangalasutra, daughter’s chain and borrowed 20 grams of gold from his brother to escape from the clutches of the police, he said.

Quite interestingly, the police officer gave the ‘recovered’ gold to another goldsmith and got 2 bangles and one necklace done within a day, alleged Ratnakar Achary.

When contacted, Superintendent of Police Labhu Ram said that he was not aware of the incident, but would look into the matter.

On the other hand, City Police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh said that he was aware of such incidents and termed it as a “peculiar” and “ticklish” issue which needs to be solved. “The thief says that he has sold the gold to a particular jeweller or goldsmith.

On the other hand, the jewellers refuse. In such a situation, what should we do. At the same time, how are we to help the person who lost the gold (owner),” he questions.
With no easy solution to the problem, the poor jewellers or goldsmiths like Ratnakar Achary have to bear the brunt.

Meanwhile, one of the office-bearers of the Jewellers’ Association said that they will soon be meeting to find a solution in this regard.

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