Kanpur: A soldier on leave stole an Army ambulance from Allahabad on Saturday and smashed through three blockades before he was caught nearly 200 kms away in Kanpur after a five-hour-long highway drama, police said.
The accused, identified Sarabjeet Chowdhary, was forced to slow down when police blocked the Allahabad-Kanpur with trucks and small vehicles in Sachendi, about 10 km from the city in Uttar Pradesh.
Though there are past incidents of security personnel turning rogue for varied reasons and venting their anger by deserting their units or posting social media messages, the jawan’s act was described as a rare incident of car-jacking by an army personnel.
Chowdhary is posted in Ladakh and had come to Allahabad on a holiday. Police said he drove through barriers put up at Kaushambi (150 km), Fatehpur (80 km) and Maharajpur (40 km) from Kanpur.
“Since the barriers were not working, we decided to bring in heavy trucks to create a jam-like situation,” said Samiksha Pandey, Sadar circle officer.
“As the ambulance slowed down, the police managed to overpower the driver near Sachendi around 11.30 am,” she said. The police parked small and big vehicles unevenly and used trucks to seal all exits points.
He stole the ambulance at around 6.30 am. “He is trying to mislead the police officers who are questioning him to ascertain the motive behind the theft,” said Pandey.
Kanpur senior superintendent of police Akhilesh Kumar said Chowdhary will be handed over to an army team from Kanpur. Chowdhary is likely to be interrogated by a team of Army intelligence officials.
“Sarabjeet is a native of Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan. Primary investigations have revealed that Chowdhary was posted in Allahabad in 2016 but was transferred to Ladakh,” said RS Rawat, station house officer of Allahabad cantonment.