Cops nab beggar who chose the good life


Chandigarh : This is a beggar who can be a chooser. Shankar Mehta is fond of the latest gadgets, electronic accessories and living the good life in hotels and resorts but it has all been cut short with his arrest from a guesthouse here, police said Friday.

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The 52-year-old beggar with expensive tastes was arrested from a government guesthouse in Sector 42 under the Prevention of Beggary Act by Chandigarh police Thursday evening.

Mehta alias Mehto had been staying in the guesthouse 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 Mehta’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 guesthouse officials. He said that he was planning to shift to Shimla during the forthcoming summer season,” Janak Rana, investigating officer of the case, told IANS.

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

He had earlier been arrested in 2007. A search of his hotel room then led to police recovering a colour television, a VCD player and various electronic items.

Police sources said that in the past few months, Mehta had stayed in various leading hotels and resorts of this union territory and in Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

Mehta 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.