Fed up of hearing the Shivaji Park police police tell him ‘tapas chalu aahe’ (investigations are on) but seeing no concrete evidence of this assurance, ACP Ravindra Khandagale of Matunga Division had the option of forming his own team of trusted cops, who not only investigated the burglary of his Shivaji Park house, but also cracked the case in a few months.
ACP Khandagale’s house at Kamal Park in the Shivaji Park area had been broken into on August 2 last year, with the unknown accused decamping with valuables worth Rs 1.8 lakh including cash worth Rs 20,000, gold ornaments worth Rs 90,000, a Rs 6,000 watch, a camera worth Rs 7,000. The gravest damage came in the theft of his service weapon, a 9mm Glock pistol. The miscreants chose the opportune moment to break into his house Khandagale was away at High Court, his wife, a teacher, had gone to work, and his son was in college.
An FIR for housebreaking was registered with the Shivaji Park police. Investigations started, but soon frequent bandobast duty started keeping the Shivaji Park police busy, and they sat on the case for several months without coming up with any leads. Fed up with the same old response from the clueless cops each time he enquired with them, ACP Khandagale finally decided to use his own resources and began parallel investigations in November, with the help of his junior, Assistant Inspector Shrikhant Ramdas of Matunga police station.
He recently cracked the case with the arrest of a burglar who hails from Haryana. “There are several cases lying undetected with us, and also with the Matunga police. This is because a lot of political activities take place in our jurisdiction. In Khandagale’s case, we had found CCTV footage, and with the help of the footage the Matunga police managed to pick one of the accused who has been identified as Ratnasingh Pallavsingh Jatav, a 32-year-old resident of Dongri who hails from Haryana,” said an officer from Shivaji Park police station. Suresh Sonawane, senior inspector of Shivaji Park police station refused to comment on the matter.
The police are yet to recover the booty, as one of the accused is still on the run. Jatav has told the cops that he threw away Khandagale’s service revolver in the sea at Worli. When contacted, Khandagale asked this correspondent to get in touch with the Shivaji Park police for details of the case.
A trend for the Shivaji Park police?
Several high-profile cases are yet to be solved by the Shivaji Park police station. They are yet to nab the accused who snatched a chain from Additional Commissioner of Police Quaiser Khalid. Nor have they caught the miscreant who burgled Professor Arun Narvekar’s flat in January and decamped with valuables worth Rs 38 lakh. The break-in at Dena Bank and robbery of Rs 30 lakh from its premises also remains unsolved.