Beware of fake po­lice­men who threaten, loot res­i­dents

If you are ap­proached by sus­pi­cious look­ing per­son or if some­one asks you for favours pos­ing as a po­lice­man, call the helpline

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

A week af­ter a ‘ f ake po­lice­man’ alle gedly robbed a Kalam­boli res­i­dent of Rs77,000 at gun­point in Uran, the po­lice have not been able to trace the ac­cused even though they have a clue — the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber of the bike he used.

There have been sev­eral such in­ci­dents in the re­cent past in which fake po­lice­men have cheated or robbed peo­ple of cash and jew­ellery. And, in a few cases, have also com­mit­ted ghastly acts such as rap­ing the vic­tim.

Two weeks ago, the Vashi po­lice ar­rested a 27- year- old man from Bhandup for al­legedly black­mail­ing and sex­u­ally ex­ploit­ing a col­lege girl from Vashi us­ing the same modus operandi.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the ac­cused, Sagar Dhu­lap, knew of her dis­creet love af­fair. Pos­ing as a po­lice­man, he threat­ened to dis­close her af­fair to her par­ents and asked her to pay him Rs30,000 if she wanted him to keep it un­der wraps.

When the girl failed to pay up, Dhu­lap took ad­van­tage of the sit­u­a­tion and raped her in a lodge. The in­ci­dent came to light, af­ter the girl spilled the beans be­fore her fam­ily mem­bers.

“Ear­lier, fake po­lice­men used a dif­fer­ent modus operandi to cheat women.

They would stand at iso­lated lo­ca­tions and on spot­ting a be­jew­elled woman, t hey would trick her into tak­ing off the jew­ellery by pre­tend­ing to cau­tion her of a sit­u­a­tion where it wouldn’t be safe to wear it. On the pre­text of help­ing her pack the jew­ellery, they would then re­place t he j ewellery with s t ones and flee,” said Maruti Datir, 37, a Ra­bale- based ac­tivist. “But now, they have changed their modus operandi,” added Datir.

Ac­cord­ing to t he po­lice, when ap­proached by a sus­pi­cious look­ing per­son or some­one who asks for a favour pos­ing as a po­lice­man, one should im­me­di­ately con­tact the po­lice on the helpline num­bers.

“The main ob­jec­tive of such cul­prits is to loot the per­son of his or her valu­ables. But in cer­tain cases, they tend to ex­tort money and ask for other favours too. In such a sce­nario, one should call 100 or 103, the po­lice helpline num­bers, when­ever a per­son pos­ing as a po­lice­man tries to ex­tort money from them or seeks favours,” said Sha­haji Umap, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice ( zone 1).

Apart from warn­ing res­i­dents, the po­lice have stepped up se­cu­rity.

“We are also try­ing to re­duce the men­ace by tak­ing the req­ui­site steps. For in­stance, our beat mar­shal teams have been alerted to keep a tab on such cul­prits. Be­sides, the po­lice pres­ence on roads has also been in­ten­si­fied,” said Umap.

THERE ARE SEV­ERAL CASES OF FAKE COPS CHEAT­ING OR ROB­BING PEO­PLE OF CASH AND JEW­ELLERY.

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