The 'Robin Hoods' from Ganj Peth who terrorised people in Deccan and were arrested last week were a notorious lot who came up with various trusts' names to print bogus receipts. Officers from the Deccan Gymkhana police are now verifying whether these trusts exist and whether the accused are affiliated to any of them.
Monday's MiD DAY report on the arrest of the gang
The six gang members had gone about demanding money from residents and offices in the Prabhat Road area. They claimed the money was meant for people living with AIDS, amenities for slum people and wheelchairs for accident victims, and they threatened people with dire consequences if their demands were refused.
Several thousand rupees were extracted in this manner from hapless citizens last year, when finally a few elderly residents filed a complaint. An official said the Maruti Suzuki Zen and the Hyundai Santro used by the gang were second-hand cars since the gang realized using stolen cars was dangerous.
"They spent the money on alcohol and trips to tourist places. Frequent visits were made to religious places like Shirdi and Alandi, where too they only drank heavily," said Constable Mahesh Nimbalkar. The police also contacted the Charity Commissioner's office to check if the trusts named by the gang exist.
"The gang might have also fooled certain trusts by collecting money in their names which will widen the scope of their crimes. We are awaiting a reply from the Charity Commissioner's office, after which we will decide the further course of action," Nimbalkar said.
The police arrested the six offenders on Saturday, when three of them had entered the same laboratory on Lane 2 of Prabhat Road from where they had earlier taken Rs 2,500. The action was taken after an employee secretly called the police, who immediately reached the spot and apprehended the three. later in the day, three more persons were picked up from different areas. Rajesh Nana Shinde (32), Sanjay Dattatray Samal (32) and Rakesh Devidas Waghmare (24) from Ganj Peth were the ones who were first arrested and booked for threatening and intimidation.