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Gang of thieves digs tunnel to steal oil from underground IOC pipeline

BY S. RAJU, Hindustan Times

MEERUT, India -- The staff was puzzled. For the past three weeks, the pressure inside Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) underground supply pipeline in Meerut had been steadily decreasing. Then, they found that a gang of thieves had dug a tunnel to access the supply line, and drilled a hole in the main pipeline, from which they were stealing thousands of liters of oil.

Running between Sonepat and Meerut, the underground pipeline supplies petroleum, diesel and kerosene.

Following a tip-off, IOC officials raided a plot of land in Partapur area on Sunday, and caught a tanker being filled through a pipe linked to the hole in the supply pipeline.

The laborers carrying out the theft fled the spot once the IOC team arrived. The matter was reported to Partapur police, and senior officials rushed to see the elaborate arrangements for the oil theft.

The tunnel originates underneath a plot owned by Narendra Choudhary, while the point where the hole was drilled in the pipeline is beneath a plot owned by Gyandendra Choudhary, whose family owns an IOC petrol pump and a gas agency of Hindustan Petroleum in the district. Gyandendra has also earned notoriety in his outdoor publicity business.

Police have taken Narendra Choudhary and two others into custody for interrogation, but Gyanendra Choudhary is at large.

A case has been lodged against both plot owners and an investigation has been ordered.

"Raids are being conducted to nab all the accused," said superintendent of police (rural) Capt. Baig.

02/17/2014

 

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