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Man points gun at family inside mall, after spat over joyride

A quest for a few moments of bliss turned into a horror show for the Keswani family on May 30. Hadapsar police on Sunday night arrested a 36-year-old man, who over a petty dispute with the victims at Amanora Town Centre Mall, allegedly pulled out a gun from his pocket and threatened them.


Illustration/Amit Bandre

But shockingly, the area senior inspector called it a trivial matter, adding that the accused had a valid gun licence with him and before entering into the premises with his family, he had notified the security guards at the entrance and even mentioned this in the register kept there. Samir Mulani, a businessman, who pointed his pistol at complainant Gopal Keswani, has been charged under section 506 (2) of IPC and relevant sections of the Arms Act.

“My wife, sister, eight-month-old daughter and I had gone to the mall on Sunday evening. After wandering around a while, we went to the east block where they have a playing area for kids,” said Keswani (29), a resident of Pimpri. His wife purchased tickets for a toy train ride. “There was a long queue over there, so we went to the snack counter, got some burgers and sat on the nearby tables,” Keswani said.

He added that when an attendant called out his wife’s name and number, she went to board the train with her daughter and sister-in-law, while he remained at the table.

“Even as I was having the burger, my wife and sister came running towards me and complained that a person was behaving indecently with them over who would board the train first. I hurried towards the playing area, and as I approached the person and was about to seek an explanation for his behaviour, he took out a gun and pointed it at my head, threatening to kill me,” said Keswani. The victim said he and his family were stupefied by this alarming reaction of the accused over such a trifling matter, and tried to pacify the person. However, Mulani was in no mood to listen and, once again aiming the pistol at Keswani, asked the family to leave the place.

“I then immediately called up the police control room and even the security officers of the mall gathered near us after the cops came. The man was taken to the police station,” he said. Meanwhile, terming the matter trivial, senior inspector Raghunath Jadhav of Hadapsar police station said Mulani had gone to the mall along with his wife and son, after informing the security guards about his weapon. “A verbal spat took place between Mulani and the Keswanis over who’d board the toy train first, and the accused pulled out his gun over this,” he said. Samir Mulani resides in Wanwadi area. He was produced in court and got bail.

Tight-lipped
When contacted, Sunil Godse, the security manager at Amanora Mall, said that he was not in a position to say anything about the incident, and said the general manager would give MiD DAY his version. But, no reply came from Amanora. 

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