You can now tweet cops about THIEF AR­RESTED AT PAN­VEL, 17 your prob­lems, give feed­back MO­TOR­CY­CLES RE­COV­ERED

STAY CON­NECTED Launched on Re­pub­lic Day, Twit­ter han­dle of city po­lice gets 51 fol­low­ers in 24 hours

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab. bhuyan@ hin­dus­tan­times. com Press Trust of In­dia let­ters@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

The Pan­vel city po­lice have re­cov­ered 17 stolen two-wheel­ers af­ter they ar­rested one thief on Tues­day.

Act­ing on a tip- off, a po­lice team ar­rested Sachins­ingh Madans­ingh Pardeshi, 35, from Sind­hudurg.

He was wanted for sev­eral theft and cheat­ing cases reg­is­tered with dif­fer­ent po­lice sta­tions in the past seven years.

“We had been search­ing for him for the past three days and fi­nally man­aged to ar­rest him at a ru­ral area in Sind­hudurg. He used to steal ve­hi­cles from the ar­eas such as Pan­vel rail­way sta­tion and bus de­pots,” said Su­nil Ba­jare, se­nior po­lice in­spec­tor from Pan­vel city po­lice sta­tion.

“Dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion, he told us about the places where he had hid the stolen ve­hi­cles. We re­cov­ered them. He was plan­ning to sell them in some re­mote ar­eas. We are prob­ing to find out if more peo­ple were in­volved,” he added.

Ac­cord­ing to Navi Mum­bai crime branch, as many as 594 ve­hi­cles were stolen from the satel­lite city last year. The po­lice man­aged to re­cover only 142 of them, which is a mere 24% of the to­tal ve­hi­cles stolen.

The po­lice sus­pect a gang of seven to 15 peo­ple has stolen a car. Al­most all the ve­hi­cles re­cov­ered last year were found ei­ther in the re­mote ar­eas of Maharashtra or in the neigh­bour­ing states. At times, the stolen ve­hi­cles are also found to be used by the cul­prits in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties such as chain snatch­ing and rob­beries.

“Sev­eral gangs of car thieves from Ra­jasthan, Gu­jarat, Pun­jab and Bi­har are ac­tive in the city. They steal cars from the city and sell them in the ru­ral ar­eas of those states by chang­ing the num­ber plates. They mostly tar­get SUVs as con­di­tion of the roads is not that good in the ru­ral ar­eas,” said a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Al­most a month af­ter Mum­bai po­lice launched their Twit­ter han­dle, their Navi Mum­bai coun­ter­parts fol­lowed suit.

In an ef­fort to en­sure bet­ter polic­ing, the Navi Mum­bai po­lice launched their twit­ter ac­count on Re­pub­lic Day and got 51 fol­low­ers in the first 24 hours. Res­i­dents can now reach out to the cops at their twit­ter han­dle: @ N_ Mum­baiPo­lice.

“Now, it will be con­ve­nient for res­i­dents to stay in our touch and vice versa through it,” said Prab­hat Ran­jan, Navi Mum­bai po­lice com­mis­sioner.

Dilip Sawant, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice ( crime) said: “Res­i­dents can now tweet us the prob­lems they have been fac­ing in their ar­eas. We will in­struct of­fi­cers to look into them. They can also give us sug­ges­tions for good polic­ing and share their feed­back.”

Sawant said this would also serve as a good plat­form to ed­u­cate the masses. “If we get to know about any ru­mour do­ing the rounds in the city, we can in­stantly clar­ify it on Twit­ter. Sim­i­larly, many peo­ple don’t know whom to ap­proach for a spe­cific is­sue. We can also guide them through it,” he added.

How­ever, un­like Mum­bai po­lice, the Navi Mum­bai po­lice have de­cided not to reg­is­ter first in­for­ma­tion re­ports (FIR) based on com­plaints re­ceived on Twit­ter. “We will not reg­is­ter FIRs based on Twit­ter com­plaints. For that, com­plainants will have fol­low the old method,” he added.

The po­lice are ex­pect­ing more f ol­low­ers i n a week. “Peo­ple sti l l do not know about it. How­ever, we ex­pect thou­sands of fol­low­ers af­ter a week,” said an­other se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer.

“Th­ese days, al­most ev­ery res­i­dent uses a smart­phone. So for them, Twit­ter will be the best way to con­vey a mes­sage to us. A ded­i­cated team led by a se­nior in­spec­tor from the so­cial me­dia lab­o­ra­tory will han­dle the Twit­ter ac­count,” he added.

The Mum­bai po­lice launched two Twit­ter ac­counts in the last week of De­cem­ber and it has been a huge suc­cess. They had 29,300 fol­low­ers in the first 24 hours.

Twenty- two Shiv Sena work­ers and lead­ers, in­clud­ing state min­is­ter Ek­nath Shinde and Thane mayor San­jay More, were on Wed­nes­day ac­quit­ted by a lo­cal court in an at­tempt to mur­der and armed ri­ot­ing case of 2005.

In 2005, when the then Shiv Sena leader and cor­po­ra­tor Ravin­dra Phatak quit saf­fron party and j oined Congress along with se­nior leader Narayan Rane, the ac­cused had al­legedly at­tacked the Shiv Sena branch of­fice in Wa­gle Es­tate and ran­sacked it.

Phatak had reg­is­tered a com­plaint against the Sena work­ers and lead­ers in this re­gard and the ac­cused were be­ing tried in the court since then.

How­ever, three years ago, Phatak re­turned to the Sena and was re- elected as its cor- po­ra­tor, fol­low­ing which, he de­posed in the court that he had no com­plaint against the ac­cused.

Ra­jan Salunke, coun­sel for the ac­cused, on Wed­nes­day prayed that since the com­plainant him­self has stated that he had no com­plaint against the ac­cused, they should be dis­charged.

Ac­cord­ingly, ad­di­tional ses­sions Judge H M Pat­ward­han ac­quit­ted all the ac­cused of all the charges.

I LLUSTRATION: CHETAN PATILTIL

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