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Assam haven for car thieves

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  20 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Spike in car-theft cases in last 3 years, gangs spreading tentacles to other towns besides Guwahati


GUWAHATI, April 19: Assam is witnessing a steep rise in cases of car theft in the last few years. With identical modus operandi and common target areas, car lifting gangs continue to enjoy safe passage, leaving law enforcing agencies stumbling in their wake.

Recurring claims of the police about busting inter-State car theft rackets fall flat if the latest graph of car lifting cases is referred to. Thousands of FIRs relating to car theft are being lodged every year in police stations across the State but few of the stolen cars are recovered by police.

The recent arrest of countrywide car lifting racket kingpin Anil Chauhan and the alleged association of MLA Rumi th with Chauhan’s gang, point at the spread and reach car lifters have in the State.

Sources said most of the vehicles stolen from Guwahati are reportedly seen or recovered in neighbouring galand and Meghalaya. Many of these stolen vehicles are purchased by insurgent groups based in Manipur and galand, making it more difficult for police to recover them.

According to CID Assam sources, 3,500 and 4,154 cases of vehicle theft were reported from all over the State in 2013 and 2014 respectively. “In 2014, 1,426 cases of vehicle theft were reported in the city, followed by 345 cases in Cachar and 235 cases in gaon,” sources said, adding, “Till March 2015, 500 cases of car theft were reported in the State.”

Official records further stated that number of vehicles stolen from the State have gone up to 4,154 in 2014 from 2,789 in 2011.

Sources said the gangs of car lifters are spreading their tentacles across the State with other district towns reporting sharp rise in vehicle theft cases. Though police are keeping tabs on car-lifters in Guwahati considering the highest number of car theft cases in the city, these gangs are increasingly eyeing cars in other major towns like Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat, gaon and Silchar.

Sources said Cachar district in Barak valley has reported dramatic rise in cases of vehicle theft in the past few years.

From 2009 to April 2011, Sivasagar reported 252 vehicle theft cases followed by gaon (218), Dibrugarh (179), Jorhat (174), Tinsukia (153) and Barpeta (119).

“Inter-state gangs of car lifters normally target vehicles in Guwahati, lift those and after making changes, take the stolen vehicles out to other parts of the region for resale,” sources added.

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