Mumbai: Tardeo resident Rajesh Dongre was arrested ten times by Mumbai police because of a false identityt and the truth came out when the real culprit was arrested, reports Mumbai Mirror.
Over the last one year, Dongre has been picked up by the Mumbai police 10 times for a variety of thefts. He's been through the entire range of police interrogations. And he's come to be known as "mobile chor" in his locality. All a bit harsh, considering he's never stolen a penny in his life.
In a bizarre case of identity theft, which came to an end this week, one of Dongre's acquaintances has been using his CV, name, address, and work experience, to get various odd jobs. A few weeks later, when the man runs away after ransacking his employers' homes, complaints lodged with the police invariably lead to the real Dongre.
The cops finally caught up with the culprit, Santosh Khartar, on Monday, by which Dongre's life had already become a living hell. In fact, when this reporter visited Dongre's 10ftx10ft residence in a Tardeo chawl on Wednesday evening, his bedridden mother's first reaction was to start pleading: "Please do not arrest my boy again. He has already gone through a lot. Have your senior officers called him again?"
Dongre, 28, who lost his job after repeated harassment by the cops, said he was both sad and angry about what he had to go through. "I had met Khartar four years ago on a jobhunting trip to Kalbadevi. He took my CV on the pretext of forwarding it to prospective employers," he said. Khartar then called him to Sahar airport for a job in the cargo section of the airport. "There he asked me for Rs 1000 to bribe some officials for the job. I found it suspicious and left the place. I couldn't have imagined what trouble I would get into."
The first time the police came knocking on his door was one year ago, accusing him of having stolen a mobile phone.
"They came at night, and there was a lot of confusion. My family was upset, the neighbours had gathered around. I explained to them that I had done nothing wrong, but they took me for interrogation any way," he said. He was later let off when the police, after verifications, realised that they had got the wrong man.
"In the past one year, I can't even remember how many police stations I have been to. Random people used to come to my place... when they didn't find me at home, they went to my office or asked my family why I stole their valuables. I quit my job because of this. People call me 'chor' in my locality for no fault of mine."
Last week, Dongre was picked up by the Vile Parle police for stealing valuables from the house of Avinash Gokhale. Gokhale, an architect, had lodged a complaint with the Vile Parle police saying his peon had run away with his cellphone and gold ornaments from his house. Senior PI Ramnah Kamble said, "He identified the peon as Rajesh Dongre and even showed us his CV. Based on this, we traced Dongre to his Tardeo house and arrested him."
However, Patil - when called to the police station to identify Dongre - told the cops they had got the wrong man.
The police then traced the IMEI number of Gokhale's stolen phone to a man named Satyaram Bharti in Dharavi. Bharti told police that he had bought the phone from one Savita Khartar in Panvel. "When we questioned Savita she said her husband Santosh Khartar had gifted her the phone. On interrogation, Santosh broke down and confessed," said Kamble.
He added, "He told us that he had used Dongre's CV to get jobs at 11 places in the city and then stolen from his employers," said Kamble.
While Dongre has now lodged a complaint with the Tardeo police and is relieved that Khartar has been arrested, he has one last wish: "I want to meet this man and ask him why he did this to me."