Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mobile theft complaints surge as GRP register them as FIRs

The Hindu: Mumbai: Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
A June 1 order that the Government Railway Police (GRP) register an FIR in all mobile theft cases and not just restrict them to missing complaints, has resulted in 1,189 cases being registered across Mumbai over the past 18 days, against 120 being registered in last June.
An application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act revealed that at Kurla station, only 7% of the mobile thefts were registered as FIR and the rest were just missing complaints.
The RTI filed by activist and vice president of Mumbai Rail Parishad Sangh, Radheshyam Sharma, found that from January 1, 2016, to April 20, 2017, Kurla station, where mobile theft is a common occurrence, recorded 423 cases where a complaint was registered under Section 379 of the IPC. During the same period, 6,944 cases of mobile theft were registered as missing complaints.
“I have written a letter to the DIG railway police asking to probe the matter of 6,944 missing mobiles. I have also requested him to do the verification of these mobiles taking help from LLB students or Tata Institute of Social Sciences. If officers are found guilty then they should be punished,” he said.
Mr. Sharma believes that the recovery of the 6,944 mobiles by the police is not possible. “I am sure it is an open secret that the GRP registered mobile theft cases as missing, without probing them. And as an eyewash, they registered a few cases as criminal offences.”
However, police stations are flooded with passengers trying to complain of their mobiles being stolen. “Passengers want their complaints to be registered under the IPC as it increases the chances of recovery. We were getting a few cases of mobile theft, but now we are registering approximately 10-20 cases a day,” said a railway police inspector.
Moreover, total mobile thefts up to May 2017 reported was 1,284, against the 749 cases registered for the same period last year. Niket Kaushik, Commissioner of Police (GRP), said, “We want each case to be reported so that there is transparency. Earlier, mobile phone thefts were registered as missing cases. But now all thefts will have to be booked under the IPC by the railway police stations.”