The bunch of criminals was nabbed after the Ganpati festival when they were preparing to rob a petrol pump at Reay Road
A gang of robbers came all the way from Kanpur to steal mobile phones and gold valuables from the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganpati mandal. The Kalachowkie police arrested one accused on September 30, who later led them to the other members of the gang.
The gang targeted the crowded mukh darshan line and stole valuables. Pic for representation
The cops have recovered over 80 phones and some gold valuables from the group, which they had stolen during the 10-day festival. The gang was earlier operating in Kumbh Mela in Nashik and came to Mumbai for the Ganpati festival.
The cops have arrested eight accused in the case, Raes Ahmed Mohammad Alam Khan, (25), Mohammad Laik Sayyed, (25), Dilshad Ansari, (20), Tara Pawan, (38), Alim Akhtar alias Sonu Mohammad Ansari, (39), Riyaz Ahmed Ansari, (22), Shyam Babu Tulsi Rai, (24) and Rakesh Gulab Baheliya, (22).
A police officer from the Kalachowkie police station said, “We have recovered country-made pistols and live bullets from the accused. After the Ganpati festival, the accused were going to loot a petrol pump in Reay Road, before which our team arrested the gang.”
The operation was carried out under the supervision of DCP zone 4 Ashok Dudhe and senior inspector Dilip Ugale of Kalachowkie police station. According to police officials, Ansari was the mastermind of the gang.
The gang members are from small villages in the vicinity of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. A police officer said, “The gang has been operating for the last few years and only targets crowded places. Before Ganpati festival, they were in Nashik for the Kumbh Mela. They came to Mumbai just a day before the Ganpati festival.
In Mumbai, their only target was the Lalbaug mandal where the largest crowd comes for darshan. The accused booked a lodge in Mumbai Central where they resided, but for the maximum time, they roamed around the mandal.”
Another police officer, who was part of the team said, “Two to three accused used to wait in the charan sparsh line. This line is very long and takes several hours to move so stealing mobiles from this place is difficult. Therefore, only two to three accused stayed there. The rest of the accused went to the mukh darshan line, and they studied the entry and exit points of the mandal. Many mobile phones were stolen on visarjan day. The accused stayed with the idol and moved along with the crowd, stealing the maximum number of phones.”