An alert has been sounded after a blue-beacon fitted SUV of a senior Indian Police Service officer was stolen in the wee hours of Wednesday from Noida, prompting police to launch a massive manhunt in the wake of the security alert for Republic Day.
''Official vehicle white Tata Safari with blue light of IG ITBP stolen from sector 23 Noida [on the outskirts of Delhi] last night. CH01GA2915. Alert sounded.
''All requested to share info if any with Delhi 100 or Noida SSP or 100 reg this vehicle if spotted. Join hands to keep Delhi safe. Retweet pl'', the Delhi Police said on its official twitter handle in an attempt to inform people at large.
''All DCPs have been asked to direct their personnel and local police to inform immediately if they spot the said vehicle. Several checking teams have been deployed and traffic officials have been briefed about the SUV,'' Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.
Officials said all police units in the national capital region have been alerted in this regard. They said the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) bearing registration number CH-01 GA 2915 of Indo-Tibetan Border Police Inspector General (IG) Anand Swarup was stolen from his Sector-23 residence in the intervening hours of 19-20 January.
They said the vehicle is suspected to have been stolen around 3:30 AM. They said the guard on duty in the complex alerted the Swarup family about the missing vehicle after which an FIR was lodged by the officer in Sector 24 police station in Noida.
The vehicle was parked late last night after it came back from Delhi, they said. Swarup, a 1992-batch Indian Police Service officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is posted as IG (Provisioning) at the headquarters of the border guarding force in Delhi.
ITBP has instituted a court of inquiry into the incident, they said, adding the IG was posted in Delhi few months back on transfer from Mussoorie.
Officials said the SUV was purchased some months back and has a blue beacon, a two-star police IG plate and an ITBP flag in the front. The police are making all efforts to trace the vehicle in the wake of the recent Pathankot attack where terrorists had overpowered a Punjab police SP riding a similar vehicle to reach the IAF base before launching the deadly strike.
There have been instances in the past when vehicles with beacon, including during the Parliament attack, were used to launch terror attacks by hoodwinking security officials. The National Capital Region is already on high alert in view of the Republic Day celebrations.