A senior civilian, who went into detective mode to solve the burglary that happened at his Worli house last November, managed to nail the culprit, but recovering the booty is proving to be another challenge.
In its June 15 cover story (‘Senior citizen turns Sherlock to solve burglary’), MiD DAY reported how 69-year-old Baba Ghatkar embarked on a probe on his own -- parallel to the one by the police -- to crack the housebreaking at his apartment which had occurred in his absence.
His keen sense of investigation and meticulous inquiries led him to identify the accused -- Munna alias Salim Ali Hussain Khan alias Qureshi -- after the Pune crime branch arrested him and the local media carried his photo.
But Ghatkar is now waiting to reclaim the stolen valuables. He said he has only got back 1.2 kg silver (worth Rs 60,000) of the 1.5 kg silver that Munna burgled from his house. He says the rest of the stolen metal, as well as some cash, is supposed to be handed over to him, but he hasn’t yet got it.
“I asked cops from the Worli police station about the remaining goods and cash stolen from my house, and the money that the accused had withdrawn from my ATM account. But the policemen asked me to forget about it all. They said it was very difficult for them to recover the booty,” Ghatkar said.
He said he was called in court where it was declared that the money and the goods burgled from his house would be returned to him as soon as possible.
“I have proof in the way of an ATM receipt that Rs 30,000 was taken from my account. It’s not that I am fooling around,” Ghatkar said, adding, “All the property the accused possesses, what will the police be doing with it? He has so many branded cars and other assets. I hope that it is sold off to recover the money stolen from us, and returned to us.”
But it isn’t as simple as that. Senior inspector Deepak Pawar from Worli police station said, “As per the law, we cannot just seize the property owned by the accused. And all the goods belonging to Ghatkar that we had recovered from the accused Munna were handed back to him.”
Munna, who has 162 cases pending against him across seven cities, with 45 in Mumbai alone, is now with the Chembur police. The cops have recovered valuables and cash worth Rs 1.5 crore from him.