Feeling a bit sceptical, when she reached the police station she saw cops calling out the names of people and returning their lost belongings. Chopra, a businesswoman was handed over her driving licence, foreign currency and jewellery.
In an attempt to return recovered stolen property, such unique fairs are being organised at police stations across the capital. So far, 5kg gold worth over Rs 3 crore, 3,418 two-wheelers and 432 four-wheelers have been returned in the last four months. Earlier, people had to wait for years and run around in courtrooms to get their property released.
For Chopra, the jewellery had emotional value as they were her husband’s first gifts. “The items from the bag were stolen when I had gone to get my watch repaired. The earrings and pendant were the first gifts given to me by my husband. Police have managed to recover the stolen items even during the pandemic. We must appreciate this face of police,” she said.
The recovered items that were returned to their rightful owners ranged from a comb to a weighing scale, coin purse, autorickshaw, motorcycle, jewellery and cars. Delhi Police commissioner SN Shrivastava has directed all SHOs to ensure that stolen goods are recovered and returned to their owners in a timely manner.
So far, Dwarka, South, South East and New Delhi districts have organised such melas. Dhal Singh, additional DCP-II, who organised two such melas in South East district, said, “In the first mela, we had four categories, which included seizures during vehicle checking, court cases, SDM cases and personal search. The second mela had stolen items too. We are working on organising the third mela soon.”
In South district, additional DCP-II Anuj Kumar said returning stolen properties also cleared up space at police stations. “We are trying to return as many goods as we can. The only ones being held back are related to heinous crimes. We usually prepare a list of people and call them to the mela. A seating area is created at the police station and their names are called out one by one. We have returned mobile phones, cash, diamond rings, foreign currency and even smaller items like an antique idol,” he added.
Ajay, a resident of Maidan Garhi working as a manager in a garment house, was happy to get back his wife’s and mother’s jewellery. “In April, some people came to my house, called out my wife and then told my mother to give them all her jewellery as police were coming to conduct a raid. The men took the jewellery and fled. Some of my jewellery, including my precious engagement ring, was returned to me. My wife’s mangalsutra is yet to be recovered,” he said.