Omendra Soni could not believe his ears when an auto service centre rang him up seeking feedback for his newly-serviced car.
Plot twist: Soni’s car was stolen two years ago.
What was more surprising for the owner was when the call from the service centre told that the vehicle returned to Kaushlendra Pratap Singh, a station officer at the Bithoor police station. Bithoor is a town in Kanpur district, about 20 km from Kanpur city.
Singh is also one of the police officer injured in the Bikru ambush where eight policemen lost their lives at the hands of gangster Vikas Dubey, and his men on July 3. Singh would have continued to use the stolen vehicle, had he not taken the car for servicing.
According to the owner, his car was stolen from the Barra area, and that too from a car washing centre on December 31, 2018. He had also lodged an FIR with the Barra police station, but they couldn’t trace the vehicle.
On Wednesday, Soni received a call from the KTL servicing centre, who enquired whether his vehicle was running fine after the service a few days ago. The owner was surprised to know that his long lost car was still in working condition. The owner had previously done a servicing of his vehicle due to which its details were still with the centre.
Soni immediately went to the service centre to get more details of his resurfaced-stolen car. It was there that he got to know that the vehicle returned to Singh on December 22.
In his defence, Singh claimed that he had found the car abandoned it was seized. He, however, did not elaborate on the date when the vehicle was found.
A police officer using a seized vehicle is not permissible by law, and as per procedure, Bithoor police should have informed Barra police about the car recovery. However, no such intimation was received from Bithoor police as confirmed by Barra police. Mohit Agarwal, IG, Kanpur Range, also said that using a seized vehicle was against the law and added that the entire case would need an inquiry. Anyone found responsible will face serious departmental action, added Agarwal.