Teen's joy turns to sorrow as thieves steal minister-gifted bicycle again

Thieves struck again and made away with her beautiful new pink Pop Star Florence model bicycle.
Avantika C J and her father in front of the Palarivattom police station to file a complaint
Avantika C J and her father in front of the Palarivattom police station to file a complaint Photo | Express

KOCHI: June began on a glad note for 15-year-old Avantika C J as she received a brand new bicycle as a gift from General Education Minister V Sivankutty to replace the one that had been stolen. Sadly, though, the happiness was short-lived.

Avantika C J and her father in front of the Palarivattom police station to file a complaint
Kerala education minister Sivankutty gifts teen bicycle to replace stolen one

Thieves struck again and made away with her beautiful new pink Pop Star Florence model bicycle.

According to Gireesh Madhavan, Avantika’s father, CCTV footage shows the thief in the act around 4:30 am on Friday.

“The house next to our rented building has a CCTV camera. We approached the owner, who consented to our request for the footage. Even in the previous instance, we had provided CCTV footage to police. I hope that this time around the cops will nab the thief,” says Avantika, whose family lives in Palarivattom. According to her, the face of the thief, who was wearing a raincoat, is not clear in the image.

Couldn’t even enjoy my bicycle to the fullest, want thief caught: Avantika

“The cycle was kept on the porch and had been locked. There were three motorcycles next to it. The thief, however, targeted only the bicycle,” says Gireesh.

The theft came to light when Gireesh was making his way to his shop around 7:30 am. “My mother woke me up and told me that my bicycle had been stolen. This is the second time that it has happened. And I am very distraught,” says Avantika.

This time, however, she decided to not to take it lying down and asked her father to accompany her to the police station. “I want the thief caught. I couldn’t even enjoy my bicycle to the fullest. I was so happy to receive the gift,” she adds. Gireesh said Avantika wanted to register a second complaint with the police. “So we visited Palarivattom police station. In the first instance, they had asked us to submit a complaint. But a case was not registered. This time, they registered an FIR and have begun an investigation,” says Gireesh. On why the bicycle was not kept inside their residence, Avantika’s mother said, “We live on the first floor of the building and it is difficult to carry the bicycle upstairs.”

It was on June 3, during a programme on the eve of Praveshanotsavam 2024, that Sivankutty gifted Avantika the bicycle, following an email he received from the latter complaining about the theft of her first cycle. The gifted bicycle cost around Rs 7,000.

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