PWD didn’t give details, delayed FIR, say police

The Delhi Police on Tuesday said PWD officials "had no idea" if the people who allegedly stole iron capsules from the dysfunctional Geeta Colony pontoon bridge had genuine papers. This, police said, led to a delay in registration of the FIR. Nearly 3 tonnes of iron capsules were stolen on January 17.

An officer said PWD officials took nearly two days to inform investigators that they had not authorised anyone to collect the material. PWD officials denied the allegation and said they had informed police within 24 hours of the theft that the papers with the accused were forged.

A police officer said, "On January 17, a security guard reported that close to 13 iron capsules of the pontoon bridge, which were lying on the Yamuna bank near Geeta Colony, were being cut up and loaded on a truck. The accused had gas cutters with them, and carried fake PWD badges, and a forged no-objection certificate. Once we were informed, we apprehended one of the accused, Praveen Sharma, who is a scrap dealer. However, when PWD officials took close to 48 hours to confirm whether the papers were genuine."

DCP (East) Prabhakar said, "It is true that the PWD initially had no idea who these people were, or if their documents were genuine. Preliminary investigations led police to the conclusion that it was a planned crime. A case of forgery, robbery, cheating and damaging public property has been registered."

He said Praveen Sharma (26) was a resident of Kirari village.

Deepak Pawar, spokesperson for the PWD, said, "We had told them that the documents were false on January 18. We were told about the theft on January 17 evening. As many as 13 iron capsules were cut up and stolen. They were lying unused on the Yamuna bank since 2007, when the Geeta Colony bridge across the Yamuna became functional. The capsules have scrap value, and it is hard to estimate the exact loss."

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