Organised gang behind theft of BSNL wires in Chandigarh

Cables from the rear of the BSNL office in Sector 4 and a nearby petrol pump in Sector 10 were stolen on Thursday night

An organized racket, involving JCB operators and impersonators claiming to be representatives of the central telecommunication agency, BSNL, is believed to be behind the theft of 16 quintal underground wires, police sources said on Saturday.

Cables from the rear of the BSNL office in Sector 4 and a nearby petrol pump in Sector 10 were stolen on Thursday night, disrputing at least 900 internet connections including that of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Punjab and Haryana Secretariats.

“The racket members had attempted to steal around 400 meters wire from Mani Majra ten days ago, but had fled the scene after being spotted by someone. The gang can be behind the theft of quintal of wires, which were stolen from the behind Kendriya Sadan-9, Punjab Police headquarters last year. That incident too had occurred during the curfew imposed in view of Covid-19. Certain suspects including a JCB operator have been rounded up in this connection,” said sources.

Unclear images of the JCB machine, a truck, which were used in the crime, were recorded in the CCTV cameras installed at the fuel station, Sector 10. Interestingly, one of the spots from where the cables were stolen, is near the Sector 10 police beat box. “No FIR was registered in connection with the attempt of theft in Mani Majra. Moreover, in the connection with last year’s incident, a mere DDR was lodged at PS 3,” said sources.

“We got a clue about the suspects from the ten days ago reported foiled attempt of theft in Mani Majra. We are working on it intensively. The case will be solved shortly. Apparently, fake documents were also used to execute the crime,” said a police officer.

The 16-quintal wire was laid around 20 years back in Sector 10 and Sector 4.

A team of BSNL officials headed by GM Mahesh Chand Singh visited the site on Saturday and work for restoration of the connection was started. “I urged the SSP (UT) to apprehend the thieves as soon as possible. If they delay the arrest, thieves will burn the stolen wires for extracting cooper in melt condition. If this happens, we will never able to recover the stolen material, which can be used again. The stolen wires were laid underground around 20 years back. There is a huge negligence on the part of local police. CCTV recording of the fuel station suggests that thieves came after 11pm. We were told that the suspects claimed to be BSNL employees. We clarified to them that no one is allowed to come out in the open without curfew pass and BSNL never issues such passes,” said GM Mahesh Chand Singh. A case was registered at PS 3 on Friday.

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