Man suspected of sharing RTA team position on WhatsApp arrested in Ambala
A team from the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) on Thursday arrested a townsman in front of the rest house of the Department of Public Works (Buildings and Roads) in Ambala town on suspicion of sharing the location of Secretary Ramit Kumar and his team in a WhatsApp group.
The man, Atinder Singh from Bichpadi village, was later handed over to the police and convicted under Sections 186 (willful obstruction of a public official) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code in Baldev Nagar police station.
Kumar, who holds the additional charge of Ambala along with Panchkula, occasionally stays at the Rest House at Police Lines, near the official residence of the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police.
The secretary said he saw the accused wandering around the herbal park, nearly 500 yards away, and alerted his office staff after spotting him again on Thursday.
“Four of our men surrounded him and asked him the purpose of his visit. He tried to run away but my staff caught him. Upon checking his phone, it was revealed that he is the admin of a WhatsApp group named building material with 123 members. He was sharing the location of the RTA verification team in exchange for the money which is illegal and results in loss of revenue for the government,” the secretary said in his statement.
Station chief Inspector Gaurav Kumar said the accused was brought before a court on Friday which remanded him to a day in police custody.
“Only this group was found in his mobile phone. He will be questioned about any alleged gang behind the mobile,” the inspector said.
RTA teams usually carry out checks and issue challans near the mining-prone areas of Nariangarh and Shahzadpur, which also shares a border with Himachal Pradesh, and Yamunanagar, to check for overloading and illegal transport.
Attack incident against the RTA team in 2020
In September 2020, Preeti, then Additional Assistant Commissioner (ADC) and RTA Secretary, and his staff were reportedly followed and then attacked, when the team led by an Indian Administrative Services officer was carrying out a night inspection.
The secretary escaped unscathed, but her company vehicle was damaged. Two members of his team were also injured in the attack, allegedly carried out by the mafia, on the Haryana-Punjab border near Panjokhra.
More than 15 people were arrested in this case and it was revealed that the mafia shared the location of the RTA team on WhatsApp groups.