Police intensify crackdown after stolen car market racket busted in Sotiganj
Intensifying the crackdown against the auto theft market, the Uttar Pradesh Police will now book the 25 odd accused in the Sotiganj car-breaking and stolen auto-parts racket under the Gangsters Act. The Meerut police had busted the Sotiganj racket last week.
Cars stolen from Delhi-NCR and other parts of the country are brought in and dismantled in this immensely infamous stolen car market hub.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had commented on “the bold action of the state government to crack down on the market” at Shahjahanpur while inaugurating the Ganga Expressway on Saturday.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Meerut, Prabhakar Chaudhary said that police have completed an almost six-month-long probe, in which several traders were found to be indulging in illegal activities.
“There are several traders in Sotiganj who already have 25 to 30 police cases on them. These cases include charges of theft, robbery, cheating, and an attempt to murder. We will take stringent action against those found guilty and the Gangster Act will be slapped on them.”
The police are preparing a list of suspicious traders, verifying their details, and scanning their properties and social network.
Since July this year, the government is after the stolen car market mafia and charges have been slapped against more than 50 people, two of the biggest accused have been put in jail, and nearly 100 shops sent fresh notices.
The Sotiganj market has over 300 shops and employs roughly 1,000 people. On Sunday, police held a flag march through the market and had nabbed the illegal enterprise’s two top kingpins — identified as Haji Iqbal and Haji Galla. The police action was followed by the Sotiganj market closure. Properties of these traders’ worth over Rs 50 crore has been attached.
“We have come across several complaints of cars being stolen from different places and cities, brought to Sotiganj and taken apart. The cases are difficult to trace as the parts are sent to hundreds of shops,” said SSP, Meerut, Prabhakar Chaudhary, adding that shops now have to show paperwork to ensure that only those dealing legally function.
Officials said highly skilled mechanics can completely dismantle a motorcycle in merely 15 minutes, and a car in less than an hour.
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