After a long pursuit, the man who left a handmade revolver at Terminal 2 of the international airport was caught after he returned from New York. The 71-year-old ex-Army man admitted that he had left his wartime revolver inside the vase, as he did not want to get into trouble with the security at the airport.
The vase from where the revolver was recovered by authorities on April 11. File pic
On April 11, the accused, Vinod Kumar Chamanlal Gulati, was on his way to New York when he left the weapon near departure gate 7. Around 11.25 am, the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) found the weapon at level four of T2 during their routine check, which was inside a vase with show plants, and handed it over to Sahar police station.
The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad recovered the handmade revolver at departure gate number 7 of T2
To find out who kept the pistol in the vase, cops checked the closed circuit television (CCTV) footage of the departure area and found a man placing it there.
A long chase
Taking help from Immigrations, police were then able to obtain details about Gulati, a Pune resident. A team was sent to Pune, to the address mentioned in the passport, only to find out that the family had shifted to another place. With no other option than to wait for the accused to fly back, the team returned.
However, a few days later, the investigating officer found a second address and the team was again sent to Pune. During their probe, the neighbours told police that Gulati was a retired Army man and had shifted to another house a few months ago. “As soon as we found out that he was in the Army, we decided to get his details from the Army canteen and found his name registered there,” informed a Sahar police official.
Cops then combed nearby banks to know which bank the accused was using for his pension. “We finally zeroed in on the bank that Gulati was using and got his latest address details from the bank manager.” When the team finally reached his current residence, his wife informed them that Gulati was in New York to celebrate his mother’s 90th birthday. However, the woman refused to give his number, nor did she know when her husband would be back.
Meanwhile, Sahar police had released a Look Out Circular (LOC) stating he was a wanted man. The letter was forwarded to all international airports of the country. On July 31, cops finally managed to nab Gulati at the international airport. In his statement, the accused said that he had found the revolver during the 1971 war and that it was quite dear to him. However, after he reached the terminal, he realised that he would not be able to carry it with him, and did not want to risk handing it over to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), fearing he would get into trouble. Therefore, he decided to leave it in the vase.
Speaking to mid-day, Senior Police Inspector, Ravindra Patil from Sahar police station, said, “He was taken into custody and kept at Arthur Road jail for a day, and was released on bail the next day. He was detained under sections 3 (Licence for acquisition and possession of firearms and ammunition) and 25 of the Arms Act. We are currently awaiting ballistic reports of the revolver, after which we will submit a chargesheet in Andheri court.”