Bag snatcher who pulled woman out of train nabbed

The GRP has nabbed the suspect who snatched the bag of a woman commuting in a local, causing her to fall off and die.

Twenty days after Dombivli’s Aarti Golapkar suffered the fall that killed her, Government Railway Police officials on Wednesday nabbed a 32-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, identified as Harish Rathod, who has a trail of such cases against him in the past.

On the evening of September 5, Dombivli resident Aarti Golapkar, 43, boarded a train from Koparkhairane to go home from work. She was standing on the footboard when the accused caught on to her bag with a hooked stick. She was pulled out along with the bag, her head hitting an electric pole. Her colleagues travelling with her got off the train at the next station, Rabale, and rushed to Koparkhairane. They found her by the tracks. The accused had fled with her handbag and the jewellery she was wearing. She was admitted to Thane’s Criti Care Hospital, where, two days later, she succumbed.

The GRP interrogated 32 suspects, including eight who had earlier been arrested for similar offences. GRP Commissioner Prabhat Kumar said, “While going through our records, we realised that one Rathod, accused in a 2008 case of bag pulling between Vashi and Mankhurd railway stations, had disappeared. His kin told us he had fled Mumbai. As he had been traced by his SIM card in the earlier case, he took care to keep changing SIMs this time. He changed a total of four cards, besides making sure to be on the move.”

Eight GRP teams from Vashi, Kurla, Thane and Crime Branch were working round the clock on the case. The breakthrough came when cops discovered his aunt and uncle in Kalwa were leaving for Madhya Pradesh, the reason for their visit ambiguous.

“Our team trailed his relatives, which finally led us to their kin’s place in an MP village where he was hiding. He was brought to the city on September 25 and produced in court on Thursday. He has been remanded in police custody till October 1,” said Kumar.

Rathod has been charged under IPC sections 394, 397 and 302 for robbery/dacoity, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, and murder. He is believed to have sold Golapkar’s belongings for Rs 20,000.  

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