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Contractor, aides held for stealing expressway construction material

Contractor, aides held for stealing expressway construction material

The accused under custody of the Sultanpur Lodhi police on Sunday. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, March 24

A gang involved in stealing construction material — sand, gravel, steel rebars, etc — used in the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway project has been busted by the Kapurthala police. The owner of a company engaged in constructing a bridge turned out to be the the theft mastermind.

The Sultanpur Lodhi police on Saturday night booked four accused and arrested three of them, including the owner of the construction company. The police seized a truck and two tonnes of stolen steel rebars (sariya) from them at 2.40 am on Sunday.

The four accused were booked under Sections 379, 408 and 120-B of the IPC at Sultanpur Lodhi police station on Sunday.

The accused have been identified as Shrinivas, owner of Global Contract Company, resident of Albe Nagar, Hyderabad; Baljit Singh, resident of village Dhaliwal Bet, Dhilwan police station, district Kapurthala; Ganesh Sharma, resident of Hargobind Nagar Jalandhar; and Vineet Vishwakarma.

As per the Sultanpur Lodhi police, the assistant general manager of AKC Infrastructure, Sanjay Sondhi, a resident of Thanesar in Kurukshetra district, said in a statement to the police that his company had got the contract to build the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway in Punjab. The company had sub-contracted work at two sites to Global Contract Company, headed by Shrinivas.

On behalf of Sondhi’s company, the construction work was being carried out at two sites — at Nijjra village (Lambra, district Jalandhar) and Pajiyan village (Sultanpur Lodhi, district Kapurthala).

Sondhi told the police that sand, gravel, steel rebars and other material used in building two bridges were being provided by his company. For a long time, it was suspected that construction material was being stolen.

Late on Saturday night (March 23), Sondhi was informed on phone by his company’s deputy manager (DM) Avtar Singh (resident of Kadiya Gujran, Dera Baba Nanak), that some unidentified people had stolen steel rebars from the construction site at Pajiyan village. After loading them on a truck, the thieves were going towards Kapurthala. Avtar Singh also informed the Kapurthala police, who immediately took action and the truck was stopped by a PCR van near a petrol pump in Barinderpur village at 2:40 am.

The truck was being driven by Baljit Singh, who was accompanied by one Ganesh Sharma. The duo told the police that the steel rebars were stolen by Vineet Vishwakarma, a supervisor in Global Contract Company, on instructions from Shrinivas.

Sultanpur Lodhi SHO Hargurdev Singh said, “We have recovered 2.5 tonnes of stolen rods (sariya) from the duo who were in the truck. The truck has also been seized. The theft of more construction material is being investigated. Shrinivas was the company owner at whose behest Baljit’s truck was being used for the theft. Ganesh was the middleman facilitating the theft. The three have been arrested and remanded to three days in police custody.”

The fourth accused, Vineet, is absconding. Police sources said a preliminary investigation pointed to the theft and resale of up to 47 tonnes of construction material.

One absconding

The fourth accused, Vineet, is still absconding. Sources said preliminary investigation pointed to theft and resale of 45 to 47 tonnes of construction material.

2.5 tonnes of steel rebar recovered

We have recovered 2.5 tonnes of stolen rods (sariya) from the duo who were in the truck. The truck has also been impounded. The theft of more construction material is being investigated. Shrinivas was the company owner at whose behest Baljit’s truck was being used for the theft. Ganesh was the middleman facilitating the theft. The three have been arrested and remanded to three days in police custody. — Hargurdev Singh, sho, Sultanpur Lodhi

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