Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mobile Phone Theft - Modus Operandi && Indian Police Stations

It all started with forgetting my earphones in my room. My brother dropped me at the bus stop to go to the office. Its my habit to put on my head set as soon as I get into the bus and filter the noise outside. That day when my brother left me at the Chandana Brothers stop, I remarked that I forgot to bring my ear phones. He asked if we need to go back and bring it. I said it is fine and that I was already late to office and hence I will go to the office.
I was standing in the bus stand waiting for my bus 216 to come, watching my newly redressed phone - I changed the battery and the panel of the phone.. It sparkled like a new one.

Getting onto the bus and to get a seat in our bus is a mini war. We have to see the bus coming before it comes to the stop, hop in to a running bus competing with all the fellow travellers also are waiting like the sprinters waiting for the whistle in olympics, and then rush to get a seat. As I was performing this ritual on a fast approaching 216, I forgot to observe that someone might have been attracted by my new look mobile phone. So i just couldnt believe myself when after some time i tried to find my phone in all my pockets and bags. After searching for sometime, I confirmed that i lost it and wondered at the modus operandi. When people are trying their best to win the war of getting a seat in the bus, there are busy people with other agendas also....So, my failure to bring headset one day cost my mobile. It would have alerted me if I suddenly the songs stopped playing. So after I bought a new mobile I always make sure my songs are on, so that I wont lose my mobile again ;)

The Modus - operandi: First, there will be a group of people. While you are busy getting in to the bus they grab your phone. While one person will be blocking your way the other person wil try to leave the place and escape. So be very careful. Have the phone with you and have an eye on your phone always.

You might have seen in the newspapers that mobile phones were used in the blasts and being a law abiding citizen, I thought of filing a complaint about the loss of my mobile phone in the nearest police station. So, I went to the nearest police station and told them my story. They were helpful in that they listened to what I had to say. They asked a few questions about where I lost my phone and after I patiently answered all their questions, they said that I had to complain in a different police station. I was perplexed as to why I had to go to a different station which was very far away when I was already in a police station which was nearby to me.

After some days, I went to the said police station. It was a big one with separate rooms for different types of crimes, criminal , civil etc. One constable on hearing my story redirected me to the criminal cases room. The SI was not yet present and I made small talk with the peon there. I told him the story of how I lost my mobile and how my friends also lost their mobile in the same way. He asked about when I lost the mobile. As I waited till saturday to go the station when I lost the mobile on tuesday, he asked me number of questions to ascertain that I was telling the truth. He said that he had to ask all these questions as I waited for five days to complain. I told him, I didnt expect to get back the mobile but I came to complain as I wanted to highlight the plight of people and how commonplace the thefts have become and to request the police to take steps to stop it. I think he took it. I asked him what are the proofs I had to submit. He pointed me to a chart on the door specifying the required documents for filing a lost mobile phone complaint. It included the original bill, the IMEI number of the mobile and a 100rs challan in E-Seva. Seeing that i was discouraged to complain, thinking anyways I have lost a mobile and having no expectation of getting it back, what advantage I had of paying that challan. I asked if there is a way I could make a complaint online and why I had to come till this station - He answered if they allowed complaints on phone and net, they would have to work 24 hours to determine which were genuine complaints and which were fake. I told him that atleast we could submit some of our personally identifiable information like PAN or any other number and would like to submit the complaint online. I told it was just a matter of time before the complaints would be taken online. If they allowed that i would have complained on Tuesday at my convenience rather than waiting for saturday to complain.

Proofs required to file a complaint now:
1. Your original bill
2. The IMEI number of the phone (desirable)
3. 100 Rs challan from eSeva.

The police department has to look forward to use technology to their advantage and ease the work of the citizens. Hope to take notice.!!!