The other vandal who desecrated the Amar Jawan memorial on August 11 was arrested yesterday. Shahbaz Abdul Qadir Shaikh (20), who has been absconding since he came on the cops’ radar, was picked up after his return to the city.
The arrest comes close on the heels of the capture of his partner in crime, Abdul Qadir Mohammad Yunus Ansari, who was picked up from Bihar on Tuesday (‘Mumbai’s most wanted: 1 down, 1 to go,’ August 29).
In images captured by MiD DAY lensman Atul Kamble, Shahbaz, a resident of Hari Nagar at Jogeshwari (East), can be seen in a green kurta kicking the Amar Jawan memorial, amidst the chaos at Churchgate on August 11.
MiD DAY’s photographs were later used by Crime Branch to hunt down the two. While Ansari was arrested on Tuesday, Shahbaz managed to flee after he received a tip-off.
According to cops investigating the matter, Shahbaz felt remorseful about his actions. “He went to Ajmer Sharif Dargah after boarding the Aravali Express from Bandra Terminus, and from there he visited a few other pilgrimage spots,” said Abdul Rauf Shaikh, police inspector of the Mumbai Crime Branch, Unit X.
Cops found it difficult to nab Shahbaz as he was constantly on the move. Running out of cash, he was forced to return and put up at a friend’s house near Raheja Hospital at Mahim. Cops learnt of his return and nabbed him there.
Shahbaz has studied at People’s Welfare High School till Std VII after which he dropped out. “Shahbaz’s father is a hawker and his mother delivers food to offices. Both Shahbaz and Abdul stay in the same area but don’t know each other. They were part of the same group that attended the protest rally at Azad Maidan. Shahbaz works for a tourist company as a driver,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, Crime.
Shahbaz is a history-sheeter who had a case registered against him in 2006 after he stole a gold chain and sold it. He was arrested by the Meghwadi police on charges of theft.
Meanwhile, the police arrested Tauffiq Ismail Shaikh, who had stolen a senior police officer’s mobile phone on August 11. Cops traced the phone as he fled from location to location, and finally nabbed him.
Cops have also arrested Nadeem Shaikh, who allegedly assaulted state reserve police force officer Arun Dattarey Sathe during the riot.
“Shaikh assaulted Sathe, but as soon as he saw police constables approach them, he offered water to him. We saw everything on the recorded footage,” said a police officer from the Crime Branch.