Criminals are giving the police the runaround a lot these days. Officials at the Dadar police station managed to re-arrest a bargirl, after she fled from their custody last week. On October 15, the accused, Hema Ravi Sardar Maniruddin Shaikh (21), visited Rathod Jewellers near Kabutarkhana, Dadar (W), along with a male friend. Her friend, while pretending to spit pan, ran away with a gold bracelet weighing three tolas (approximately 35 grams), leaving Hema behind. She had met the man a few days back at a bar.
“Three days before the theft, the man had bought a small ring costing Rs 2,000 to gain the jeweller’s confidence. He then fled with the bracelet when he came with the girl,” said Sunil Jatak, police sub-inspector, Dadar police station. “We took her into custody on the same day and started interrogating her. That is when she managed to flee from the ladies’ room of the police station,” said Prakash Patil, senior police inspector at Dadar police station. She went out through a window, after she found that there were no female personnel to keep an eye on her.
The search began immediately. The woman had given a fake address to the police, but enquiries made at different bars where she worked revealed that she had relatives in Dombivli. They informed the police that Hema had shifted to Borivli. The police said that she had been staying with her relatives for the past seven days, shuttling between Borivli and Dombivli. Officers traced her location using her mobile phone number and arrested her from Borivli on Monday.
The Mumbai police have been facing flak from all quarters, as there have been several incidents of late, where accused have escaped police custody.
>> Last week, Zubeda Khatun Khan, an 18-year-old woman accused of kidnapping, managed to flee the Nagpada police station after officers failed to lock the door of the lock-up. This happened on the same day that Hema gave officers a slip.
>> On October 11, Mohommad Shekho Nanhe Khan, an accused in a burglary case, managed to escape the clutches of the Shahu Nagar police by removing the exhaust fan from thetoilet and escaping through the duct, as a constable waited for him outside the toilet.
>> On September 20, Afzal Usmani, a suspected Indian Mujahideen operative and an accused in the 2008 Surat and Ahmedabad bomb blasts case, escaped custody while being taken for a court hearing.