'Don't think twice before you dial 100'

'Don't think twice before you dial 100'

A gang of 26 arrested in attention diversion cases

''Dial 100 for filing any complaint. The section is personally supervised by me and I assure you of swift action and solutions. There is no need to panic and waste time seeking advice from other sources,'' City Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji said here on Saturday.

“There is a wrong notion that police act only when some powerful and influential people file complaints. It is not true, the faster we get to know of the crime, the quicker we can act and nab culprits,” he said.

The commissioner said this while showering praises on his 200-member police team that stormed into Irani Colony at Chidri, Bidar, and arrested the 26 persons who were involved in a series of attention diversion cases in Bangalore City. Stolen valuables worth Rs 65 lakh were also recovered.

Mirji said: “With these arrests, nearly 55 cases have been solved. A total of 35 people were taken into custody, but during interrogation, we found that nine of them were not involved in the crime. They were let off and remaining were booked.”

The gang created panic, especially among women in the City. They targeted mostly middle-aged women, posing as CID, CBI or CCB officers and relieved them of their gold ornaments. Police said the main accused Taki Ali alias Yusuf led a posh life. He lived in a centrally-airconditioned house and travelled business class. The gang had taken to crime as a hobby.

Every time they landed in Bangalore, they would split into gangs of five to eight members, zero in on their victims, divert their attention and walk away with the booty.

Appana alias Tulasi Ram, a key member of the gang, is a police constable’s son and the gang utilised him wisely.

Appana fell in love with a girl whose brother is a member in the gang. After getting married, he was absorbed into the gang and his ‘local’ looks came in handy.

His role was to scare the victims about getting robbed of their valuables and pressuring them to remove them, explained an investigating officer. The only consolation is that the gang never harmed any of the victims.

They feared that if they created a panic, they would get caught. In only one case, the gang was forced to threaten a victim with a knife when she refused to fall for their tactics.

‘Duped’ at commissioner’s office

Around 11.20 am on Saturday, the City Police Commissioner’s office on Infantry Road was bustling with sudden activity as the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Control Room) ordered closure of gates and deployed men at various outlets. Reason: A homemaker who had come to meet the commissioner lost her gold chains! Shocked by the turn of events, she screamed: “I can’t imagine I lost my jewels at this venue! Two men, one of them wearing a military cap, took away my jewels.”

Immediately, another officer started questioning her as to what went wrong. She said: “The duo advised me not to wear expensive jewellery while meeting senior police officers.

They made me remove my jewels and packed them in a plastic cover. But when I opened it a little later, my ornaments were missing.” The brief confusion led to mass sigh of relief when a senior officer announced: “It was a stage-managed show.”  DCP (North East) Ravikante Gowda told Deccan Herald: “We had hired, Bhava Lahari, a drama troupe, to act out the scene and they played it to perfection. We thought it was apt to use the theme of attention diversion to create awareness.”