Three arrested, fourth accomplice absconding; cops say it was the most active gang in
the central suburbs, and was involved in a break-in, chain snatching and two shootouts
The state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has busted what the police say was the most active gang in the city’s central suburbs, with the arrest of three gangsters. The accused have been involved in two shootouts, including the recent attack on a RelianceEnergy employee in Bhandup.
The accused, Sairam Laxman Gangipally (19) and Shivkumar alias Shiva Murgan Shetty (19) were picked up from Mahavir Nagar in Kandivli on a tip-off at around 4 pm on Saturday. The cops then asked them to call up the third accused, Munna alias Guddu Mohiuddin Shaikh (21), and bait him into coming to Byculla. Munna fell for the trap and the cops arrested him, too.
The accused trio is associated with the Ravi Pujari gang. A fourth associate of theirs, Ebrahim alias Ebbu (21), got wind that a police team was arriving to arrest him and he managed to flee.
“The accused were involved in two shootouts, a housebreaking and a chain-snatching case. Last week, one of them, Shiva Murgan, even dared to threaten the senior inspector of Vikhroli police station when the police team questioned his family members of his whereabouts,” said an officer from Vikhroli police station on the condition of anonymity.
According to the police, the accused had kept the cops in Bhandup, Mulund and Vikhroli areas busy by committing one big crime every week. However, the recent shootout of a 42-year-old Bhandup resident, Umesh Rane, who was robbed and shot on his ribs by four men near Bhandup railway station on Christmas Eve had put the entire police force on their trail.
Sources said that the local police, the Crime Branch and the ATS were put on their trail. The ATS was constantly monitoring the movement of the group members, who were shuttling between Mumbai and Rajasthan, making arrest difficult.
On Saturday, the police got concrete leads that the gang had taken cover in Mahavir Nagar in Kandivli. They rushed a team to the spot and arrested three of the four gang members.
On December 7, Mumbra resident Tabrez Jethwa (23) was shot at by the accused over an argument that started after Jethwa stepped on one of the accused gang members’ toes. The man fired at Jethwa; the bullets grazed his right wrist and shoulder. Umesh Rane, an employee of Reliance Energy in Kurla office, was on his way to the railway station when the accused surrounded him near his house.
They took his gold chains, but as one of the four men tried to snatch his bracelet, Umesh resisted. The suspect pulled out his gun and shot him in the ribs. Umesh managed to scramble back up till the house and told his wife of the robbery. She rushed him to hospital and informed the police. The same day, a few hours before Rane was shot at, the accused had walked away with the gold chain of one of the pedestrians at Vikhroli.
The accused had confessed to one more case of housebreaking. The cops are still trying to corroborate the details of the case narrated by the accused.