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Techie held in Mohali with fake Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 42 lakh was once appreciated by PM Modi

Currently reading: Techie held in Mohali with fake Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 42 lakh was once appreciated by PM Modi
India TV News Desk, Mohali [Published on:02 Dec 2016, 16:28:29]

Not long ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India’ campaign had a rising star. An innovator by the name of Abhinav Verma had created 'Live Braille', a wearable technology that helped blind people to walk around without the aid of a walking stick.

The device used sensors to guide blind people and was hailed as a success. It even got a mention from PM Modi in December last year at the Indian Science Congress in Bengaluru. The device was commercially launched this year and was touted as an innovation under the 'Make in India' programme, and sold in India and over 15 countries.

Abhinav, who wanted to "change the lives of 50 million blind people in India" with the device, had termed it as a "freedom device". A BTech student, he even established a fund-raising initiative -- Milaap -- for this campaign.

The 'Milaap' website prominently mentions Abhinav's innovation as "Recognised by the honourable PM Narendra Modi and former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. This device was amongst the Top-3 Hardware Technologies in India and was nominated amongst the Top-15 hardware startups at the Asia Hardware Battle, organised by TechCrunch and TechNode in March 2016".  

Cut to the present and Abhinav is among three people arrested in Mohali making a mockery out of a presumably well-intentioned move by the government to weed out the evil of black money. 

Abhinav was arrested yesterday in Mohali with fake Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 42 lakh. The others apprehended alongside him were his cousin sister and an MBA student Vishakha Verma and their property dealer friend Suman Nagpal. 

The 'Milaap' website prominently mentions Abhinav's innovation as "Recognised by the honourable PM Narendra Modi and former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. This device was amongst the Top-3 Hardware Technologies in India and was nominated amongst the Top-15 hardware startups at the Asia Hardware Battle, organised by TechCrunch and TechNode in March 2016".  

The trio, along with two others, were duping people by exchanging the demonetised Rs 500 and 1,000 notes for the fake Rs 2,000 notes.

They were charging 30 per cent commission for the exchange.

Mohali Superintendent of Police (City) Parminder Singh said the fake currency was recovered on Wednesday from a brand new luxury Audi SUV which the trio were using.

The vehicle even had a red beacon, which is allowed only for VVIPs, on it.

The police have been conducting raids to arrest two more members of the gang who slipped away.

"The currency given by the gang (to their customers) even after charging commission was fake," Singh said.

"Abhinav is an engineering graduate who is into manufacturing sensors to be installed in the sticks for visually handicapped. His office is in Chandigarh and they used to print the fake currency of Rs 2,000 denomination at his office only," the official said.

While Abhinav, 21, and Vishakha, 23, who is pursuing MBA, used to print the fake currency, the property dealer used to find clients who wanted to get their unaccounted money converted to new currency.

"The notes seized from them had the same serial number," an investigating official said.

Techie held in Mohali with fake Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 42- India Tv
Techie held in Mohali with fake Rs 2,000 notes worth Rs 42 lakh Photo: REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE