Hunt for bangle robbers takes Mumbai cops to Naxalite zone

When the Ghatkopar police started an unknown journey to a remote village in Bihar to solve a five-month old theft case, little did they know that they would land up in a no-network, Naxalite zone in the Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border with zero cooperation from locals.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Wednesday, January 25, 2023, 03:59 AM IST
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Mumbai: When the Ghatkopar police started an unknown journey to a remote village in Bihar to solve a five-month old theft case, little did they know that they would land up in a no-network, Naxalite zone in the Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand border with zero cooperation from locals.

Amid this bumpy ride, the team successfully chased and arrested the two suspects who stole gold bangles worth Rs30 lakh.
The matter emerged on Dec 20, 2022 from a 40-year-old man, Rajesh Premji Wariya. As per his complaint, the incident dates back to Sept 23 when he was on his way back home to Ghatkopar from Mumbai airport. When he reached Ghatkopar railway station, two men in an autorickshaw came to him and robbed him of two gold bangles that he was wearing – each worth Rs15 lakh.
Mr Wariya lodged a case almost two months late, so the police were initially clueless about the whereabouts of the suspects. However, they kept the technical investigation on.
One day, they got their first lead that turned out to be a breakthrough. A police official said, “We spotted the suspects and followed them via footage from the nearby CCTV cameras. We spotted their mobile details plus their past, current and moving locations. We found that they were constantly on a move and the last location was in Jamui village in Bihar.”

A team of four police officers was sent to Bihar. An officer said, “In such cases, with the assistance of local police in the region, we get the suspects’ primary location and registered contact details. However, it was not the case here.” None of the locals were ready to cooperate; worse, they didn’t even want to talk to the police.

An officer said, “People ran away and shut their doors the moment we looked at them. Even passing vehicles were not ready to give us rides to our destination. We were confused. Finally, after a long walk to the police station, we found out that the place was a Naxalite zone and people were afraid to talk to strangers.”

With assistance from Sono police in Jamui, the team managed to reach a suspect’s house and enquired about his location. The family was clueless, but said that the man and his friend had gone to a jeweller to sell bangles for money. The police rushed to the market and checked jewellery shops, managing to arrest the suspects before the deal.

Identified as Nandkumar Yadav, 22, and Shravan Saha, 30, both are residents of Jamui village, and worked as auto-rickshaw drivers in Mumbai for several years. They had left their vehicles, quit their driving job, and had run away with the bangles after the theft.

After presenting them in a local court, they were brought to the Ghatkopar police station. The police managed to recover the booty, along with one mobile phone and some cash, which is suspected to be stolen as well.

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