Mumbai crime: Despite being stabbed thrice, 22-yr-old pins down phone thief

Sayeed Rajbijli knifed Rakesh Balotiya in the chest, stomach and arm while trying to free himself from the latter’s grip at Borivli station; Rajbijli told the police he had taken to thievery to repay a Rs 36-lakh gambling debt

A 22-year-old businessman almost lost his life while attempting to nab a cellphone thief. The incident occurred in broad daylight on the foot overbridge of platform no 4-5 at Borivli station on Saturday.

Rakesh Balotiya at Shatabdi hospital. He was trying to recover a phone that Sayeed Rajbijli (left) had snatched from a 21-yr-old woman
Rakesh Balotiya at Shatabdi hospital. He was trying to recover a phone that Sayeed Rajbijli (left) had snatched from a 21-yr-old woman

Rakesh Harilalji Balotiya, owner of a shoe manufacturing unit and resident of Kurla, was stabbed thrice by Sayeed Rajbijli (40) in his attempt to free himself from Balotiya’s grasp.

Copspeak
A police official from the Borivli police station said that Rajbijli was booked under sections of the IPC relared to theft and attempted murder. He was produced in the court yesterday and is currently in judicial custody.

A habitual gambler, who bets heavily on horse racing, Rajbijli took to thievery to repay his debt worth R36 lakh. The official said the accused does not have a criminal record.

The incident
According to a police official, Shefali Chavan (21) was on her way to Ahmedabad with her family to attend an engagement. The Chavans had boarded the Karnavati Express from platform number 4 around 2 pm and Shefali had occupied the window seat. While she was talking on her mobile phone, Rajbijli snatched it through the window and fled.

Speaking to mid-day, Balotiya said, “I was waiting for the local train, when I heard a woman’s cry for help from the train. Since I had seen the accused running towards the FOB, I decided to chase him. I managed to nab him on the bridge.” Balotiya said he was unprepared for what happened next. “The thief suddenly took out a knife and stabbed me.

Despite his first attack, on the chest, I didn’t leave him. He then stabbed me in the stomach and on my arm. But I managed to pin him down and sought help from passers-by. Meanwhile, the railway police too reached the spot and the accused was handed over to them. I’m glad that I could help the young woman,” he added.

Balotiya was rushed to Bharat Ratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Municipal General Hospital, previously known as Shatabdi hospital. The young lad said that despite the shooting pain, his condition was stable and he would be discharged soon.

‘Grateful’
Shefali, a Dahisar resident and an IIT student, said, “I’m thankful to Balotiya for chasing and nabbing the accused. He put himself in danger to get my phone back. Since we had to leave for Ahmedabad, I wasn’t able to thank him personally. However, I will do it once I’m back. I had purchased the cellphone just a month ago.”

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