Fear crippled the judgement of a 17-year-old boy after he lost Rs 34,000 his father had given him, in a brawl with his girlfriend’s family, and he filed a fake case of robbery with Bandra police against two unknown people on Saturday. But the Crime Branch soon got him to spit out the truth and confess he did that, as he was too scared to tell his father the truth.
The minor’s father, a garment businessman, had given his son Rs 34,000 to pay a Bandra-based fabric supplier. But soon after the boy left his house in Mumbra to make the payment, relatives of his girlfriend caught him and thrashed him as they were against their relationship. In this commotion, the minor either lost or someone stole the money.
After the girl’s family let him go, he went to Bandra railway station, where he realised that he didn’t have the money. He then, to escape his father’s wrath, hatched a story of robbery and told his father he was going to Bandra police station to register a case.
The boy told the Bandra police that two people, including an auto rickshaw driver, looted him at knifepoint. He told the cops that after boarding an auto rickshaw in Bandra (east), the driver picked up another man, who was waiting near Dharavi T junction.
He said they soon stopped near Bandra Reclamation Bridge and asked the boy to hand over everything he had at knifepoint. But when he refused, the men began beating him up with their belts and then forcefully took the money from him and fled. He also described the fictitious accused as men, who must be 20-22 years old, had a wheatish complexion and were about 5 ft 5 inches tall.
After the police didn’t find any evidence to support the complainant’s claims except the bruises on his body, the Crime Branch Unit IX was roped in. “We looked at the CCTV footage of the spot mentioned in the complaint but did not find any auto rickshaw, in which a person was sitting beside the driver,” said a CB official. The people residing nearby also said they didn’t hear any screams.
Since the complaint appeared suspicious, the CB officials called the boy for interrogation on Monday. After a few grilling hours, the minor confessed to filing a fake case. He said he was afraid of his father and so he cooked up a story.
An officer from the Bandra police station said, “We have registered an FIR under Sections 394 (robbery) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC against two members of the girl’s family. The crime spot has been changed to Mumbra and the case of robbery is being investigated.”
Three clues that solved the case
1. The boy said he only remembered that the auto rickshaw number started with MH04 but no MH04 auto rickshaws ply in that area.
2. The minor told the cops the auto rickshaw driver used his waist belt to beat him up but the cops said usually rickshaw drivers don’t wear belts.
3. When the complainant said the rickshaw driver didn’t answer or make any calls before picking up his accomplice, the police found it hard to believe that the driver stopped the rickshaw just where his accomplice was without finding out where he was standing at such a busy spot.