PUNE: When cases are about missing pets or stolen vehicles of the rich and mighty, police is always seen taking action to retrieve them. However, the idea of engagement totally changes when the person approaching them is not affluent. A recent example is the case of 38-year-old Sandip Godse, a truck driver by profession, who was assaulted and threatened by sleuths of Vadgaon Maval police station for demanding a copy of FIR and pleading with them to find his stolen truck.
The irony is that despite the recovery of truck by Malegaon police on March 31, 2018, Godse is unable to claim it as Vadgaon Maval police allegedly denied giving him the FIR when he approached them four days back.
Godse, while narrating his ordeal, said, “I bought a secondhand truck on March 15, 2016 and started loading it from the next day itself. I made my first trip to Hosur in Karnataka and then loaded the truck again from Bengaluru and delivered the goods at Thane. While returning, I again loaded the truck in Bhiwandi and unloaded it at Pune. But unfortunately within eight days, my truck got stolen.”
Godse who brought the truck for Rs 6.5 lakh after taking a loan from a finance company informed that after returning from Bhiwandi, he parked the truck near Panchmukhi temple in Vadgaon Maval on the night of March 23, 2016 and went to his home in Vadgaon Maval. Next morning, when he came back, he could not find his truck and reported the matter to Vadgaon Maval police whom he alleged mistreated him. They did not register the FIR citing that the person who registers the complaint has gone outside. Instead of investigating the matter, police handed a letter to Godse, which was addressed to managers of Urse and Varsoli toll plaza. The letter mentioned about the theft of truck and demanded CCTV footage. The letter was written by Police Sub Inspector AN Lonikar of Vadgaon Maval police station.
“They told me that they don’t have time for such cases so it’s better that I should investigate on my own with the help of the letter,” added Godse.
Meanwhile, the finance company demanded the EMIs. Godse said, “As the truck was stolen, I skipped the instalments. Finance company made a case against me. I told their representatives, who came to my house about the theft but they demanded the FIR. However, when I went to the police station demanding a FIR copy, I was slapped by a cop and threatened not to visit the police station again.”
On March 31, 2018, Godse was informed by a friend that Malegaon police has recovered a truck and have arrested two suspects. After checking the chassis number, it was discovered that the truck belongs to Godse. However, Malegaon police asked Godse to furnish the FIR copy in order to acquire the truck through court.
Godse said, “I went again to Vadgaon Maval police station but they refused to give me the FIR. I don’t know what I should do.”
When questioned, Police Sub Inspector AN Lonikar, who was then posted at Vadgaon Maval police station, said, “His truck was never stolen and the person from whom he purchased the truck confiscated it. I handed him a letter so that he can get access to the CCTV footage of toll plazas. He claimed to see the truck and when I asked him to get it, he said it disappeared from the spot where he saw it.”
However, according to documents available with Sakal Times, the truck number MH13AX2248 with chassis number MAT457403C7C14728 is in Godse’s name.
When Lonikar was asked why he didn’t go along with Godse, he said, “It was not required as I had given him the letter."
When questioned, P Kale, Police Inspector, Vadgaon Maval police station, said, “We even register FIR if somebody has lost his chappal. Maybe that person has done something wrong. But I will definitely look into the matter and see if there is any goof up by police."