Thane: 55-year-old fights off muggers who attacked her with itching powder
Everyone knows how hard it is to resist an itch, but it was will power - and sheer bravery - that helped a 55-year-old Kalyan woman fight off a mugging attempt by two men who flung itching powder at her in the hope that she would drop the Rs 1 lakh she was carrying. When that tactic didn’t work, the bike-borne men then began to assault her and tried to snatch the package from her hands, but lost their nerve when she screamed.
Tarabai hid the cash in this packet
Tarabai Thakur Jadhav (55) is a resident of Vijay Nagar in Kalyan east, where she also works as a supervisor at the construction site of Gauri Vinayak developers. On Tuesday, she had just withdrawn the Rs 1 lakh to distribute in wages to the labourers at the site when the robbers targeted her.
On Tuesday morning, Tarabai Thakur Jadhav took a cheque of Rs 1 lakh from Bakilala Saroj, acontractor and her boss at a construction site. He suggested that she encash it and distribute the cash as the week’s wages to the workers and labourers at the site. Illustrations/Uday Mohite
Rs 1-lakh itch
Even though her skin was itching from the powder the crooks had thrown at her, she didn’t slow down or drop the money. “They thought I would drop the cash after they put the itching powder on me. But when that failed, the pillion rider hit me and tried to snatch the cash. When they slowed down the bike, I caught hold of his collar and tried to push him. I started screaming ‘Chor-chor’. But despite my screams, no one came forward to help. But at least the robbers got scared and fled,” she added.
She took the cheque and headed to the Bank of Baroda branch in Vijay Nagar, Kalyan east. After withdrawing the cash, she covered it in paper and hid it in the folds of her saree before heading back to the construction site
Tarabai reached the construction site and distributed the wages, much to the relief of the workers and the developer Sanjay Gaikwad. He told mid-day, “We are proud of the woman who fought back and are happy that she is safe, as life is more important than cash. We will reward her for her bravery.”
Unaware that she was being followed by two men on a bike, Tarabai crossed the road after reaching Shivaji Colony on the east side and was hardly 10 minutes from the work site when she sensed the presence of the robbers. She held the package tight to her chest and started walking faster
Tarabai said the assailants were wearing helmets and she could not identify them, and she was in no state to file a complaint yet. “I am not able to focus on anything since there is severe itchiness all over my body. Once I am done with the treatment, will visit the police station and register a complaint,” said the victim.
The robbers came closer and flung itching powder to distract her. Tarabai didn’t realise what it was at first, but her skin soon began to itch. But instead of dropping the package, she began to walk faster, so the robbers went closer and slapped her
However, Sanjay More, the personal assistant to the developer Sanjay Gaikwad said they had approached the Kolshewadi police, but no case was registered. “The police officials stated that since the cash had not been robbed, there was no reason to file any case. They took down a report and sent us back,” added More.
She struggled against them for close to 15 minutes as they tried to hit her and snatch the money. She caught hold of the collar of the pillion rider and pushed him and yelled ‘Chor chor!’
When this paper approached Senior Police Inspector KN Ghete at Kolshewadi police station, he said, “I am not aware of any such woman who visited the police station. If she had, we would have registered a case. I will asked my officer to get in touch with the woman and register a case accordingly.”
Although passers-by didn’t jump to help, her screams scared the crooks, who left the cash and fled on their bike. She reached the construction site safely and distributed the wages