More than 7,000 internet users in the densely populated Odhav and Nikol areas in eastern Ahmedabad had a harrowing time when their connections went kaput right in the beginning of a new week on Monday.
Used to working from home ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, they were all stranded. What left them zapped was that even the internet service providers themselves could not figure out what hit their services.
This was until the ISPs discovered that about 8,000 meters of Cat-5 network cable worth about Rs 1 lakh were stolen from Odhav and Nikol areas. They immediately swung into action and fixed new cables to restore the services at the earliest.
Simultaneously, they went through the CCTV footage and were stunned to find that their former employee Damodar alias Jaggi Tautee, a resident of B D Kamdar Society on Airport Road, was involved in the theft of cable wires.
Inspector R G Jadeja of Odhav Police station said they arrested Tautee based on the CCTV footage and sent him for the mandatory pre-arrest Covid-19 test. “We are also investigating who others are involved in this and whether there was some other ulterior motive too,” Jadeja said.
Technical Manager of the broadband internet service provider firm, Bharatsinh Zala, who is from Abdasa taluka in Kutch and lives in New C G Road area in Chandkheda told VoI that they had about 5,000 internet users in Odhav and some 4000 in Nikol. “The cables were stolen between June 20 2021 and June 23. We had a tough time fixing the cables and restoring the services, as most customers pointed out that they worked from home and they urgently needed the internet services. After restoring the services, we went through the CCTV footage installed nearby. We were shocked to find that about 8 p.m. 0n June 22, our own former employee who worked on a contractual basis was seen snapping the cables. We then lodged FIRs with Odhav and Nikol police stations,” Zala recounted.