Gujarat: Stolen Gold Chain Returned To Surat Woman After 18 Years In Police Locker

Gujarat: Stolen Gold Chain Returned To Surat Woman After 18 Years In Police Locker

Anjana Hasmukh Patel, a resident of Dhruvtarak society in Ved Road, lost her 20-gram gold chain in 2006 to a thief who took advantage of the chaos caused by the floods

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 04:13 PM IST
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Gujarat: Stolen Gold Chain Returned To Surat Woman After 18 Years In Police Locker | MELVYN THOMAS

Surat: In a story of perseverance and bureaucratic hurdles, a resident of Surat has finally been reunited with her gold chain stolen 18 years ago during the devastating floods in the city. Anjana Hasmukh Patel, a resident of Dhruvtarak society in Ved Road, lost her 20-gram gold chain in 2006 to a thief who took advantage of the chaos caused by the floods.

Patel had purchased the gold chain just a few months before the floods, valued at Rs 12,000 at the time—at present the gold chain is valued at Rs 1.20 lakh. Unlike many who lost their belongings in the deluge, Patel's loss was due to a separate act of crime.  She promptly reported the theft to the police and a case was registered. The good news came fast - the thief was apprehended within days, and the stolen chain was recovered.

Details of case

However, the bureaucratic wheels began to turn slowly. Though the accused was presented in court, the gold chain became mired in the court system, deposited as evidence (muddamal) in the locker of the Chowk Bazaar police station. Finally, in 2022, the Surat court ruled that the gold chain be returned to its rightful owner. It took another year, however, for Patel to be reunited with her long-lost possession. On Tuesday, the Chowk Bazaar police reached out to Patel, informing her to visit the station. Upon arrival, she was pleasantly surprised to receive her gold chain after nearly two decades.

According to VV Vagadia, the police inspector of Chowk Bazaar, the delay was due to "technical reasons" that prevented Patel from claiming her property earlier. A recent audit of pending muddamal in the station's locker led to the rediscovery of the chain. The police then retrieved the court order online and facilitated the return of the gold chain to its rightful owner. "I never gave up hope of seeing my chain again. It's a reminder of a difficult time, but also of the perseverance of the police and the importance of following through with legal procedures. It feels surreal to have it back after all these years” said Anjana Patel. This story highlights the complexities of the legal system and the challenges faced by citizens in navigating bureaucratic procedures.

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