` 2-cr heist: Cops have major lead based on vehicle number
an APMC vegetable dealer Arun Menkudale’s house on Friday in which cash and jewellery worth Rs 2.09 crore were robbed at gunpoint within 15 minutes. The robbers posed as courier staff to gain entry into the house.
According to the police, four teams have been formed and the police have CCTV footage of the accused. An officer claimed that they have identified two persons from the footage and have the registration number of the vehicle in which they fled.
The police claim that the robbery was pre-planned and the accused may have acted on a tip-off. “We are on the lookout for them and the arrests will be made in a day or two if everything turned out to be according to our plans,” said a senior police officer. The Agripada police on Saturday arrested a teenager from Gujarat for alleged extortion calls and messages to four Mumbai-based businessmen using fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and gangster Arun Gawali’s name.
The youth told the police that he was inspired by Rajinikanth-starrer and wanted to become a ‘don’. He has been identified as Imran urf Mohsin Firoz Khan, 19.
According to the police, the accused initially called a businessman and claimed that he is the right-hand man of Gawali and demanded Rs 10 lakh. He threatened to kill his son. While in another incident, he allegedly sent messages to three businessmen introducing himself as the right-hand man of Dawood, demanded Rs 5 lakh and threatened to kill their sons too.
“In the span of four days more than four people approached us with similar complaints. We registered two separate cases and began our probe. We traced the caller’s location to Vapi and arrested him. During the investigation, he confessed to getting the victims’ numbers from a store in Mumbai where he worked for three months,” said a police officer. Taking control of the major fire that broke out in the Behrampada area in Bandra east on Thursday was not an easy task for the Mumbai Fire Brigade. Fire officials claim the slum dwellers in the area are infamous for interrupting the firefighting.
In 2015 too, the firemen struggled with the locals. Following the damage, a case was registered in Nirmal Nagar police station. However, on Thursday too, the firemen and police experienced the same disruption, in addition to dealing with crowds during the demolition drive.
“The slum cluster has a history of fires and the locals try to dominate the firefighting operations. We not only take an extra force of fire brigades but also have to be ready for self-defense,” said PS Rahangdale, chief fire officer.
According to sources from the police, an extra police force had been deployed on Thursday. While the police claim to have carried out the operations smoothly, the firefighters have a different story to tell.
“They disconnect the coupling attached to fire engines. In the past, they have taken charge of fire brigade vehicles. Whenever we get a fire call from Behrampada, we have to ask for an extra police force to handle the crowd,” another officer said.
“Whenever we get a fire call from the area, our firemen get psychologically stressed as facing the irate crowd is a challenging task. The slum dwellers snatch the water nozzle from while we attempt to control the fire strategically,” the officer added. A day after the arrest of Shabbir Khan, the police have come across names of at least five to six more persons who were involved in the arson conspiracy.
The police and BMC officials claim that a fire takes place in the area every six months. The idea is that once the houses are gutted, the locals claim that their documents were destroyed, and as a result, several new illegal hutments soon crop up which they later sublet.
According to the police, the wanted-accused individuals had allegedly poured kerosene on the roofs of hutments and Khan had allegedly opened a gas cylinder to let it blow up so that the demolition drive could be brought to a halt. The accused opened the gas cylinder after officials reached the area to demolish hutments in compliance with the High Court’s orders.
Sources from the police and BMC said that there will be a renewed demolition drive in the area.