Mumbai: Cops, locals take 3 hours to nab Aarey's mystery man
It took a team of 20 people to flush out the man from the woods, where they also found sharp weapons and items he had stolen from residents of Aarey Colony
It took three hours and 20 people to find and nab the terror of Aarey Colony, but local residents can now finally breathe easy.
After terrorising Aarey residents for months, Rajesh Kishan Gamre was caught by the police on October 24 and sent for treatment for a suspected mental ailment
For months, the man, who was identified as Rajesh Kishan Gamre — suspected to be mentally unstable — had been attacking locals and plundering their belongings, but the police finally caught up with him after he flung stones at a few people on Saturday afternoon.
Camera footage captured last month shows him lurking in Aarey Colony’s forests at night. He would steal water, clothes, utensils, etc
The Aarey Colony police had been on the lookout for him since mid-day reported how local residents were scared of a middle-aged man who lurked in the forested patches of the area at night, threatening anyone he met with sharp objects, stealing their possessions (‘Man terrorises Aarey residents, plunders their clothes, utensils’, September 30).
However, the police had been unable to nab him until Saturday, when they got a complaint from a few visitors at the New Zealand hostel, who had narrowly escaped being stoned by him.
“Our search for Gamre had been going on since a month. When we received the call on Saturday, we immediately formed a search team of eight policemen. The team began the search at the spots frequented by the man,” said Vilas Chavan, a senior police official from Aarey Colony police station, adding that the cops were on their toes, as they knew the man was dangerous.
The man knew the area well and this had helped him elude the cops so far, so the police enlisted the help of locals as well. A total of 20 people, including cops and locals, set out to comb through Aarey’s woods around 12.30 pm. Three hours later, they finally managed to flush out Gamre, a local resident who began to live in the woods after the death of his wife two years ago.
“He knows the areas like the back of his hand. Many times he tried to escape by threatening the people trying to catch him. Eventually we managed to round him up, trap him and nab him,” said a resident involved in the chase, adding that cops had also retrieved knives, broken glass bottles, metal rods and numerous household goods, including clothes.
Local residents were relieved after the arrest of Gamre, who has now been sent to Thane Mental Hospital for diagnosis and treatment.
“Every time we stepped out, we feared an encounter with this man who would carry sharp objects and attack at his will. He stole numerous things, including expensive cameras and utensils. Now, at least he can avail treatment for his mental ailment. We will have no problem if he returns a civilised man. We wish him a speedy recovery,” said local resident Imran Patel.
The police said Gamre was a resident of Charanwadi, a pada in Aarey Colony, but he went rogue after his wife passed away a couple of years ago. “Gamre used to live there with his wife, mother and sister. His mother told us that he had left home after he lost his wife in an accident.
He shed his clothes and started wandering in the forest, and became eccentric and would attack people and steal from them. His mother requested him to return home, but when he didn’t listen, she began to visit him in the forest to provide him with food,” said a police officer.
Gamre was produced in the magistrate court before being sent to Thane Mental Hospital. Gamre’s relatives visited the police station after they got wind of his arrest and gave their statements.