Noida encounter: Police to check misuse of diplomatic no plates

Last Updated: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 15:49

New Delhi: Dreaded criminals from adjoining
states have now found a unique way to sneak into Delhi -- by
using imported cars carrying blue diplomatic (CD) number
plates.

This modus operandi came to light after two wanted
criminals from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh were shot dead on April
26 in an encounter by the UP Special Task Force on the busy
Noida expressway adjoining Delhi.

The wanted gangsters -- Ajay and Ashutosh, each carrying
a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head -- were travelling in a car
with a diplomatic number plate -- 17 CD A/F (Applied For). The
police impounded the car from the encounter scene.

Enquiries revealed that the car originally belonged to
the Chinese embassy and had apparently been sold in an auction
to a person called Atul several months ago.

When the police tried to locate Atul, they found he had
given a fictitious address. "It was a car of the Chinese
Embassy, they (criminals) bought the car but did not change
the number plate to fool the police," UP Special Task Force
Senior Superintendent of Police Navin Arora said.

This unauthorised use of diplomatic number plates to
drive in and out of the capital unquestioned, has rung alarm
bells in the Delhi Police, especially at a time when the city
is on high alert.

A senior Delhi Police official said that the Ministry of
External Affairs had issued standing instructions to challan
or even impound any diplomatic vehicle carrying an incomplete
or A/F (Applied For) number plate.

But no such challan had been issued till date. "Now after
the encounter, it seems that criminals are misusing it. So we
will now keep an eye on any diplomatic vehicle bearing A/F
number plate and challan or impound in case of violations,"
the official.

The encounter brought to light another violation of law.

According to the rules, the diplomatic number plate of
the car has to be taken off immediately after the auction and
the owner has to make a fresh registration. This particular
car had reportedly been sold by the Chinese embassy in January
this year.

In the light of the embarrassing questions raised by the
encounter, the UP Special Task force and the Noida police
have been fobbing off enquiries.

When asked about the progress of the investigation, Arora
said, "Special Task Force is not the investigation agency, we
have done the encounter...The investigation is done by the
Noida Police, as the case is registered under the Surajpur,
Noida Police Station."

The officials at the Surajpur Police Station refused to
discuss the case. The Circle officer of the police station,
Shailendra Lal, said, "the investigations are on...We are not
in a position to say anything to the press."

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 15:49

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