- Driver in Chief Minister's cavalcade reported the car stolen
- A city-wide search was launched across Jhansi by the police
- Car was found. It had been "shifted" by traffic police to parking area
Chief Minister Adityanath who has pledged a dramatic improvement in the state's crime situation is on a tour to the district 300 km from state capital Lucknow. He was meeting officials at the district administration's headquarters at Vikas Bhawan; the vehicles in his fleet were parked in the adjoining compound of the Circuit House.
Since the meetings were going to take time, some of the drivers took a break. When one of them returned, he found his car missing. The driver promptly reported the theft to the police. Check-posts were ordered to be set up across the district to catch the thief before he scoots, and a search launched for abandoned vehicles.
Policemen routinely tell people who report vehicle thefts to first check if the vehicle had been towed away for illegal parking. Nobody imagined. But nobody bothered to check with the traffic police deployed in and around the Circuit House this time. Nobody would tow away a car in the Chief Minister's motorcade, would they?
It turned out this is what had happened.
Soon after the search for the missing car was launched, Jhansi city's police chief Dinesh Singh said, the traffic police informed that since the vehicle was parked at the wrong place it was shifted to the allotted parking area.
Mr Singh said the message about the "theft" had been received on the wireless network, and the vehicle found before a formal complaint about the "theft" could be registered.
About 30,000 vehicles including cars and two-wheelers are stolen in Uttar Pradesh every year.