It was an instinctive decision for 22-year-old Sarang Kharat to follow chain snatchers after he saw a senior citizen screaming for help in Borivli. And it did prove productive when he was able to nab one of them after a two-km-long chase. The thief was handed over to the police.

Sarang Kharat heard the woman’s plea for help and immediately followed the chain snatchers on his bike. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Sarang Kharat heard the woman’s plea for help and immediately followed the chain snatchers on his bike. Pic/Nimesh Dave

The incident occurred on Monday night around 10.30 pm when 67-year-old Shakuntala Jaikumar, who lives with her son Abhijit and daughter-in-law in Shramik Grahnirman Sanstha in Borivli’s Gorai area, stepped out of the house to go to a nearby ration shop. When she was returning home, two bike-borne miscreants snatched her chain, pushed her and tried to flee by speeding away. “I fell down when the person snatched the chain from my neck and I immediately got up and ran behind him screaming thief, thief. When I saw them speed away, I came inside the building to ask for help,” she said.

Helping hand
But her voice had been heard by Kharat, a contractor, who was sitting on his bike at the end of that road. He then followed the chain snatchers. “After I heard the woman, I saw two people on a motorbike trying to escape. I followed them and after around 2 km I managed to get close. I nudged their bike, which made the one riding it lose balance, and they fell. The pillion rider managed to flee, but I caught one of them,” said Kharat.

After getting help from locals, he did go after the other one as he had the chain. “When I tried to catch him, he put his hand in his pocket which made me think he had a weapon. So I backed off. Taking advantage, he ran away,” added Kharat.

The arrested accused, identified as Mohd Aftab Mohammaddin Shaikh (42), a resident of Malwani, was produced in court and remanded in police custody for three days. Police have recovered a bike from him too.

While Shakuntala’s family was on their way to the police station, they came to know that the chain snatcher had been caught by someone. Abhijit said, “I appreciate Sarang Kharat’s heroism. Hats off to him, for catching the thief without worrying about his life and handing him over to the police. In the future, if I ever get a chance to help someone, I will too.”

The Borivli Police have registered a case against Aftab under Sections 394 and 34 of IPC.

“We will present Sarang Kharat with a bravery certificate,” said a Borivli police official.