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Affluent Chandigarh beggar in police net

Affluent Chandigarh beggar in police net

Mehto is believed to have stayed in leading hotels of Chandigarh.

Chandigarh: A high-profile beggar who is fond of the latest gadgets, electronic accessories, frequent trips and of holidaying at expensive hotels has been arrested by the Chandigarh police, officials said here on Friday.

According to the police, 52-year-old Shankar Mehta alias Mehto was arrested on Thursday evening from a government guest-house here in Sector 42. Mehto was staying in the guest-house for the past two months and had paid Rs.6,000 in rent for staying there.

At the time of the arrest, police recovered nearly Rs.3,000 and a mobile phone from Mehto's possession.

"He was not afraid of the police and said that nobody could stop him from begging. He is a very clever man and had not even divulged his identity before the guest-house officials. He said that he was planning to shift to Shimla during the forthcoming summer season." Janak Rana, investigating officer of the case, said on Friday.

He added: "He has been booked under the Prevention of Beggary Act. We will scrutinize his call details and luggage to establish his further links. The Chandigarh police had also arrested him few years ago."

Mehto is from Raipur district in Madhya Pradesh. He told police that he had left his home during his childhood and since then has been living on the money that he gathers through begging. He has stayed in various cities of the country.

Earlier Chandigarh police had arrested Mehto in 2007. At that time he was staying here in a hotel in Sector 40. During the search operation of his hotel room, police had recovered a coloured television, a VCD player and various electronic items.

Police sources said that in the past few months, Mehto had stayed in various leading hotels and resorts of this Union Territory and in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

first published:February 05, 2010, 13:44 IST