Officials of the Anti-Dacoity Cell (ADC) arrested three persons on suspicion of their involvement in six train robberies, including the two recent cases where passengers on board the Jodhpur-Pune Express and the Goa-Nizamuddin Express were attacked and robbed of their valuables. The arrests were made yesterday morning.
The arrested persons were identified as Sagar Kamathe (19), Atul Nimbhore (22) and Kailas Vagare (22), all residents of Solapur. They were booked under Sections 392 (Forceful robbery), 399 (Making preparation to commit dacoity), 402 (Assembling for purpose of committing dacoity) of the IPC and relevant section of the Arms Act. The trio was produced in the Shivajinagar court and was remanded in police custody till August 5.
In the wee hours of July 25, over 50 passengers on board Jodhpur-Pune Express were attacked and looted of valuables worth a lakh by six dacoits between Lonavla and Chinchwad station. Within 48 hours of the first incident, four armed persons struck Goa-Nizamuddin Express and robbed valuables worth Rs 1.05 lakh from 13 passengers in the general coach near Saswad.
Police officials said the gang of nine men, who were behind these loots, used to board trains by posing as passengers. As soon as the train moved, they would target non-Maharashtrian passengers thinking that they will not approach the police and lodge complaints. Investigations revealed that the arrested persons had earlier targeted Maharashtra Express, Patna Express, Agra-Pune Express and Ahimsa Express.
“We received information that the suspects were all set to execute another train robbery on Kolhpur-bound trains and were waiting near Ghorpadi railway crossing in Mundhwa on Sunday midnight,” Police Inspector Satish Gowekar of ADC said. “Acting on the tip-off, we laid a trap near the railway crossing and arrested three of them.
The other five who were present at the spot managed to escape. We have launched a manhunt for those who are at large. We have recovered gold ornaments, cellphones, watches and other booty worth Rs 1.50 lakh from the suspects.” Gowekar said Kamathe and Nimbhore are history-sheeters and had several cases of pickpocketing, dacoity and thefts registered against them with the railway police.
“Kamathe is the gang leader and has been in the business since childhood and had fled the observation room on several occasions in the past,” Gowekar said. “The third suspect, Vagare, who is new in the gang, was recently asked by Kamathe and other gang members to join them.”
The officer said Vagare was Std XII dropout and hailed from a well-to-do family in Solapur. “His family owns more than 10 acres of land in Karmala taluka of Solapur district,” Gowekar said.
Rly police nab two
The railway police yesterday arrested two persons from Hadapsar on the suspicion of being train robbers and recovered booty worth Rs 40,000 from them. The arrested persons were identified as Nitin Surawase (23) and Bablu Gupta (32), both residents of Hadapsar.