Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kerala police mistaken for robbers, roundly thrashed

Mission to pawnbroker’s house turns nightmarish as wife’s yells bring in neighbours

Bangalore: Little did a four-member Kerala police team anticipate what was in store for them when they rapped on the doors of a pawnbroker in the city early on Tuesday while tracking stolen goods.

The pawnbroker’s wife, who later said she mistook the plainclothesmen for robbers, raised a hue and cry, startling the neighbourhood on Jain Temple Street in Bharathinagar.

Some 20 locals rushed in, rained blows on the policemen and pelted stones at them, injuring three of the four-member team and damaging their cars.

The incident, which took place at 5.10 a.m., forced the Kerala police to beat a hasty retreat, though they have not filed any complaint.

Kochi burglary

So what led them to the unfortunate predicament? According to the city police, a magistrate’s house in Kochi was burgled way back in 2005 and the suspects, Suhail Pasha and Taukeer from Bangalore, got away with booty worth several lakh rupees, which they allegedly sold to Nirmal Kumar Bora of Jain Temple Street.

About a month back, the city police nabbed Suhail here. During interrogation, he reportedly revealed his alleged involvement in burglaries in Kochi and other parts of Kerala.

Later the city police handed him over to the Kerala police for further investigation.

On the basis of information provided by Suhail, the Kerala team arrived here Monday evening, an officer of the Bharthinagar police station said.

When they turned up around 5 a.m. on Tuesday to search the house of Mr. Bora, who allegedly bought stolen property from Suhail and Taukeer, Mamatha, the lady of the house, greeted them and told them that Mr. Bora was away.

Even before the Kerala police could proceed, Ms. Mamatha went berserk, yelling for her neighbours, said the officer quoting the Kerala police.

“Instead cooperating, she created an uproar and provoked her neighbours to attack us. She also egged them on to pelt stones at our vehicles,” a Kerala police officer reportedly told the Bharthinagar police.

“But so far we have not received any formal complaint from the Kerala police,” Bharthinagar Police Inspector K.R. Ganesh told The Hindu.

Meanwhile, in her statement to the police, Ms. Mamatha is understood to have said she had mistaken the plainclothesmen for robbers

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