A 40-year-old man who was returning home after attending his father's funeral was robbed by six unknown, armed men, at the Cement Yard located in Nahur, off the Goregoan-Mulund Link Road (GMLR).
Details of the robbery
The victim, Kadam, a resident of Bhandup East was returning home last week via bus from Raigad. He got down at Airoli Bridge and was walking towards his location at around 5 am as he couldn't get a bus or auto rickshaw. Kadam was walking across Nanepada Road which falls in the Nahur and Mulund East area, he noticed some men staring at him.
The investigation officer in the case, PSI Ganesh Sanap, explained, "The entire stretch of this area has many criminal activities going on for some time now. Several of these property owners have hired security guards but in the past, some of them were beaten up by unknown people, hence now the guards here don't wear uniforms. The victim told us those guards saw him and might have suspected him to be a robber, so they started screaming at him. Worried, Kadam started running towards the side of the Nahur railway bridge where a tempo started to follow him."
"The tempo after a few rounds, stopped right next to Kadam and six men got out of the vehicle. Some had rods in their possession. Two of them held Kadam, while the others started frisking him and capturing everything he had - including his gold chain, mobile phone, ATM card, and his smartwatch."
FIR registered with Navghar police
They pushed Kadam towards the ground and fled the scene. After a couple of days, Kadam approached the Navghar police and narrated the entire incident, subsequently an FIR was registered. Senior police inspector Dattatram Girap held the case to PSI Sanap, after which a team started looking into the case.
In the beginning, all the police had with them as "clues" was the description of the numberless tempo, that Kadam provided. "The crime spot didn't have any CCTVs. The Nahur Railway bridge does not have any CCTVs, and neither does the spot at GMLR. Some are non-functional, and some areas are just blind spots."
"We started scanning through the footage from all possible, existing CCTVs - in both directions, towards the west, and the east. The first clue we got was when we spotted a similar-looking Tempo in the Sonapur area of Bhandup. However, the tempo had no movements, no human presence," explained Sanap. For days, Sanap and his team steaked out, keeping an eye on the tempo. After almost three days, they saw a gang approaching the tempo.
Details of the investigation
"They sat inside and proceeded to move. We didn't grab them as they could attempt to escape, so we kept following them to trace their activity. They started moving towards the east, and their first stop was in Gautam Nagar, Govandi East. They parked the vehicle, and after some time, they resumed driving. We stopped their vehicle at Vashi Toll Naka and placed four of them under arrest. The remaining two managed to escape," he added.
The lack of CCTVs is troubling the police, and also the residents as it's causing a loophole for criminals who take advantage to execute crime in these areas. The Navghar police claim to have sent notices and multiple reminders to the civic body, BMC, for the repair and installation of CCTV cameras in their jurisdiction as it's creating a hindrance in their investigation.
Accused identified and vehicle seized
The accused are identified as Ali Raja Miya Ali, 34, Zishan Siddhique, 21, Mohammad Ashraf Khan, 24, and Nisar Mushtaq Ali Khan, 20 - who were all arrested by the police. Out of them, Ali Raja has a criminal history of theft and Nisar was previously charged and convicted for attempting to murder, theft, and voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery cases against them. The two absconding accused are identified as Zakir Lootera, and Raju Topiwala, for whom a manhunt has been launched by the police.
The police seized their vehicle worth Rs. 3 lakhs, but couldn't find the stolen items of Kadam. All the accused are charged with the offence of dacoity, under section 395, of the Indian Penal Code. They are currently remanded to judicial custody in Thane's Central Jail.