Theft during R-Day parade ’simple case of picking pocket’: police

January 28th, 2009 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The theft of a bag from a high-security enclosure at the Republic Day parade function is a “simple case of picking pocket”, Delhi Police said Wednesday even as the officer investigating the case has proceeded on 15 days’ leave.Naoki Ito, a minister in the Japanese embassy, in his complaint to the police said his bag - which reportedly carried Rs.15,000 in cash, keys, credit card and a passport - was missing from enclosure number 11 where he was seated during the Republic Day parade Jan 26.

A case of theft was registered at the Tughlaq Road police station. But two days after the incident, the police are yet to make any headway in the case.

“It is a simple case of picking pocket. And no diplomat was robbed. The incident took place with an embassy staff member in the enclosure number 11 where they were seated,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Anand Mohan told IANS.

“The enclosure number 11 is not a VIP area. The report in a newspaper is misconstrued as it is not possible that policemen were not allowed to enter the enclosure on grounds that it was a VIP area,” he added.

The Japanese embassy here refused to confirm whether Ito was a diplomat or just a staff member. However Ito, who is in Chennai, told a newspaper that he works as a “minister” with the political wing of the Japanese embassy in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Bhagat Singh, who was tasked to investigate the case, has proceeded on 15 days’ leave.

Asked if the investigating officer has gone on personal leave, Mohan, who first expressed ignorance, said: “If the investigating officer has gone on leave, he must have handed over the case to another official. Please check with my subordinates.”

But a duty officer at the Tughlaq Road police station told IANS: “Bhagat Singh has gone on leave of 15 days without handing over the case charge to anyone.”

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