We don't touch luxury cars, say traffic cops

Jun 18, 2011

The theft of Audi Q7 car in February has now put the surveillance of state highways under a cloud. The accused, Anupsinh Padhiyar, drove around extensively between Gandhinagar and north Gujarat in his dream car, but neither the state highway police nor any other police agency thought it fit to question the man driving the Rs 80-lakh car with only 'Applied For Registration' written on the number plate.

City crime branch officials tracked down Padhiyar and recovered the car on Thursday. Investigating officials suspect that Padhiyar was trying to contact prospective buyers for the car. That a stolen car, without a registration number could ply in the state without raising an eye-brow has caught the state police red-faced, especially since Gujarat is high on various terrorist organizations' hit list.

The problem is more deep-rooted than just an oversight. Padhiyar's free run in his stolen car is not a surprise to cops. The state police officials say they usually refrain from stopping high-end, luxury cars for security checks at any check posts.

"More often than not, riders of such cars are well-connected and get away after a phone call to senior officials or some influential person. In some cases, constables have been transferred just for stopping such a vehicle," said a city traffic branch constable. Senior police officials also admitted that everyday they receive at least two to three calls requesting their intervention at traffic signals.

V D Vanaar, deputy superintendent of police, state traffic branch, said, "If the car had a number, it would surely have been caught. However, without a registration number, it is difficult to keep a tab on such cars."

As per Padhiyar's statement, he had told his relatives and friends that the car was second-hand. Even then the car did not have any registration number.

The stickers at back and front of the car read 'APPLIDE FOR REGISTRAION' in black. As a routine procedure, the stickers are red and accompanied by provisional registration number for the car. Padhiyar had got such stickers printed specially to pass the stolen car off as a newly purchased vehicle.