Surat broker, in his desperation to come back home from Mumbai, forged Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s signature on a ‘special permission’ to take a road trip. As reported by Ahmedabad Mirror, 33-year-old Rajesh Patel, a real estate broker from Surat was in Malad, Mumbai, when the lockdown was announced. Subsequently, the state borders were also sealed in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus. However, after being stuck for such a long time, he decided to pay heed to his friend’s suggestion of using a forged signature of Home Minister Amit Shah to drive his way back.
Friend in need, friend indeed
As per the report, Rajesh Patel was stuck in Malad when he reached out to one Hasitbhai Rajpurohit, also a real estate broker, in Vadodara. The latter, allegedly put Patel in touch with one of his friends, Manish, also a resident of Vadodara, who pitched in to help. Manish reportedly got Patel’s ID proofs and forged Union Home Minister’s signature on a ‘special permission’ letter and sent it across to Rajpurohit. Rajpurohit allegedly forwarded the same to Patel on WhatsApp.
Forged letter of ‘special permission’
The letter dated 27th March, 2020, is addressed to “Director General of Police, All State, India” and identified Patel as a ‘pharmaceutical businessman’. The letter stated that he is allowed to travel all over India for ‘medicine and pharmaceutical work’ and that they are taking all precautions for coronavirus. The letter also stated that Patel is authorised by Government of India to travel across India and continue the work in medicine and pharmaceutical.
Fooled Maharashtra Police, alert Gujarat cop caught him
Armed with the letter with forged signature, Patel, along with two other people, including a woman, left for Surat from Mumbai. They were travelling in an Innova with Maharashtra registration number. The forged letter got them through three check posts in Maharashtra, Bhilad, Damanganga and Bhagwada. Once they were through to Gujarat, they thought they’d make it, after all, Gujarat was Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
Except, an alert cop, head constable Hiteshkumar Darji at Vaghaldhara checkpost in Gujarat asked for the original ‘special permission’ after Patel fumbled a little. The three people were then taken to Dungari police station in Valsad for interrogation. The two who were travelling with Patel have been booked as witnesses in the case. His friends, Rajpurohit as well as Manish have reportedly gone missing. Rajesh Patel is booked for forgery, criminal conspiracy and violation of government notification under section 465, 468, 471, 120 (B) and 188 (A) of the IPC and section 135 of the GP Act.
A covidiot is someone who ignores public health and safety warnings and puts not only his own health and life at risk but also others around him. Recently, an Uruguayan diplomat was found flouting lockdown rules in Delhi. She was found cycling on the roads of Delhi without a mask, despite government orders of complete lockdown. New Zealand health minister also flouted lockdown guidelines and went to a beach with his family for a walk. Earlier in March, a man who had licked toilet as part of ‘coronavirus challenge’ tested positive for COVID-19.