Manali: Sixty-two year old US national, Pauline Ross has lodged a police complaint about Rs 9.5 Lakh (950,000 INR) having been stolen from her rented room here in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
In the first information report (FIR) filed before a police officer, the victim has stated that she kept the cash at her rented room, a few months ago, which was found stolen on Monday (15.2.2016).
Police sources said that Pauline was staying in a rented room at Nasogi village near Manali for the past few months and she had a valid passport and visa.
Manali police superintendent Puneet Raghu said, “Ms Ross told the police that she was staying with a Chile national in Nasogi village and was undergoing treatment at Lady Willingdon Hospital, Manali.”
In the complaint lodged the victim has alleged that that after her treatment got over a month, she found the money stolen on Monday and suspects that the Chile national had stolen the cash,” said Raghu.
‘To crack the case, Kullu police has formed teams. A case under section 380, 457 IPC has been registered,” he said.
But what has intrigued the investigating teams is that the suspect Chile national Cristian Rodrigo Miranda is already in police custody and has been there since January 9. He was arrested under Foreigners Act for visa overstay after police found it was not valid anymore.
Investigations have so far revealed that Pauline had withdrawn huge cash on two occasions – first in September and second time in November from State Bank of India, Manali branch.
As she was undergoing treatment and the amount was withdrawn legally through valid bank transactions, police are trying to distill the truth in the allegations made.
What is bothering the police is that if the theft had actually happened, then the question why was Pauline holding onto such a big amount in a unsafe almirah of a rented house in a village for such long time period.
What is more intriguing is that Pauline’s jewellery, which was lying in the same almirah was not stolen.
The investigation is being centered around both Pauline and her Chilean friend Cristian as police are said to have gathered information that both were good friends till last year when a dispute separated them.
Pauline Ross let the Manali media know that she was a retired artist and had come to Manali to breath fresh air and do some charity work.
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.