Stolen: A cop 'car'naama
Coming to think of it, it was a little strange that the CPLC kept telling me to keep the 'reward' ready.
This year Iqbal Day fell on a Friday and the entire country had a day off, excluding the ever-privileged car thieves in Karachi. I went to offer Jumma prayers with my father in my old, beloved car. When I left the mosque feeling elated after the long, long prayers, little did I know what was in store for me.
When I didn’t see the car where I had parked it, it occurred to me that something had probably gone very - very wrong.
My car was gone!
Could someone have stolen it?
Who would steal a car as old as mine?
Gosh! I hope it hasn’t gotten into the wrong hands and will not be used in any terrorist activity!
Questions were bombarding my mind one after another.
I asked a couple of people around. An old man said he had seen it there prior to buying his groceries a few minutes ago. That was fast, I thought. The crook must have been a very well trained.
I thanked God that I wasn't in the car and it wasn't a gunpoint showdown. What else could I do? Without wasting any time, I went to the nearest police station. Even before starting anything he said,
(Was it CNG fuelled?)
My nod in agreement brought a sheepish smile on his face. My FIR was filed. I rushed back home and phoned the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), lodged a complaint, and then tried to calm down.
The next day I received an SMS, from the sub-inspector of the Anti Car Lifting Cell (ACLC). He asked me to come for an investigation. Poor me, being investigated about my own stolen car! I returned with the burden of their sympathies and they asked me to be ready with a reward if the car is found. And so the seemingly endless wait had begun.
I kept calling the sub-inspector regularly for updates. He kept telling me,
“Yes, our informers are working on it. You will get your car soon. Just be ready with the reward.”
On Nov 28, we decided to check various police stations ourselves just in case. A friend of mine visited the ACLC office, and guess what? The first car he could see when he entered the gate was mine!
Interestingly enough, I had called the officer just one day before this and he had told me to just focus on 'preparing the reward'.
On my friend’s call I hurriedly left with my father and reached the ACLC office. I could tell that my car had been there for a long time as it had collected a heavy coat of dust. The CNG kit, the number plate and other valuables were missing. There was a sticker on my car which had the investigation officer (IO) name and the recovery date which, to my astonishment, was dated November 13!
A string of abuses escaped my lips. Then I took a deep breath and realised that the rear wheels had been stolen too. However, the thief was kind and gentle enough to change them with ragged, torn ones.
On leaving the office, my father gave some money to the gatekeeper. He asked for more saying,
"Sir, please be kind and deal with love."
My father turned and replied,
“All the love I had, has already been given to your officers. Please go and ask for your due share.”
This so-called successful recovery of my car left a bitter taste in my mouth. We returned disgusted at the so called security forces of our country.
Note: About the prize money ─ it was set to Rs 15,000 after a lot of bargaining with the 'officer sahib' and Rs 200 for the gatekeeper. He wanted more!
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