Mane says he lost mobile phone during bus rampage

Killer driver informed investigating team about his missing phone during interrogation when asked they him to surrender it to check call details

The crazed driver Santosh Maruti Mane (41), who was arrested for mowing down eight and injuring several others in Pune after he went berserk behind the wheel of a state transport (ST) that he had stolen from Swargate bus depot bus on Wednesday, has told the investigating team that he lost his cellphone during the rampage.

Mane, who was produced in the holiday court on Thursday, has been remanded to police custody till February 3. He informed about his lost phone when the investigating team that was interrogating him asked him to surrender the mobile to check his call details.

Additional Commissioner of Police Rajendrasinh Mohite said, "Investigation is at a preliminary stage. Mane has not shared any information on what instigated him to commit such a heinous act."

Adding that Mane is not showing any signs of being mentally disturbed, Mohite added, "After he stole the ST bus, he targeted two-wheelers, an occasional four-wheeler, but avoided collision with heavy vehicles like truck and buses, which could have altered his speed or could have posed danger to him. How could a mentally disturbed person be in his senses to keep himself away from harm's way?"

The Pune Crime Branch has now formed two teams to investigate the case. While one team would be travelling to Kavthali in Uttar Solapur District to visit his family and meet the psychiatrist who claims to have treated Mane for schizophrenia, the other will be tracing and investigating all those whom Mane had either met or contacted a fortnight before the incident.

Mohite said that a detailed report on the people who had met Mane before the rampage is being prepared. He said, "The moment we start inquiring about the incident, Mane becomes silent." He added that apart from a distant relative, no one has come to meet Mane in custody.

Why so?
Citizens are baffled over the fact that despite Quick Response Team and policemen on patrolling duty rushing in to control the crazy ST driver, it took them 45 minutes to bring the situation under control. Commenting on the issue, a retired IPS officer, requesting anonymity said, "The cops were caught off guard when this bizarre incident took place."

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