At a time when the shortage of medical oxygen is wreaking havoc across the country, reports of its black marketing have become normal. Now, an incident of oxygen theft has come to the fore from Maharashtra’s Nagpur in which an attempt was made to steal four oxygen tankers.
However, the conspiracy to steal the tankers was foiled as police immediately swung into action. Notably, the oxygen in the tankers was meant for patients in Nagpur.
Four oxygen tankers were sent from Chhattisgarh’s Bhilai to Nagpur on May 5. These tankers were filled with 64 tonnes of oxygen costing around Rs 16 lakhs. They were supposed to reach Nagpur as per the schedule. However, when the tankers did not arrive, a search was initiated by the administration to trace them.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari entrusted the responsibility of co-ordination of oxygen tankers to a social worker named Pyare Khan. When the tankers did not reach Nagpur in time, Pyare Khan started a probe and sent one of his team to Bhilai.
It was found that the drivers of the tankers could not be contacted and all were missing. Tanker driver, carrier, employees of the oxygen company also stopped picking up calls.
After the tanker drivers could not be traced, the help of police was taken. Khan informed the Nagpur police commissioner, collector and RTO about the missing tankers. All of them started working in tandem and the search for the tankers intensified.
The police utilised the phone numbers of the tanker drivers to trace their location. The police found that two tankers had reached Deori, whereas the other two tankers had crossed Nagpur and reached Aurangabad. All the tankers were then diverted back to Nagpur.
Tankers were on their way to Gujarat
Police in its preliminary investigation found that the tanker drivers were given more money for the oxygen and therefore, the tankers were being taken to Gujarat. Police have launched a thorough probe into the incident and trying to find out who bribed the tanker drivers and whether a gang is involved in the crime or not.
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