The next time you find strangers at your doorsteps, claiming that they have come to invite you for a wedding at your hometown, think twice before you welcome them. On Monday, a group of three unidentified men, under the pretext of giving a wedding invite, robbed a housewife and her daughter at gunpoint. According to the Chembur police, the unidentified trio had introduced themselves to Sohani Naval (48), a resident of Shell Colony on Sahkar Road in Chembur, stating that they had come to invite her for a wedding at her hometown Ajmer. To ensure that they don’t arouse suspicion, they were conversing with her in Marwari.
“During their first visit, my daughter Bhagwati (22) had answered the door, but didn’t open it. When they returned for the second time, five minutes later, I opened the door. It was while checking their credentials, they pushed me in and barged into the house,” said Naval. She added, “They snatched my mangalsutra, pushed me into the kitchen and locked it from outside. The trio then turned to my daughter and threatened her at gunpoint, asking her give away whatever we had. Since Bhagwati was scared, she gave away all that was there in the house.”
As per Naval’s statement registered by the Nehru Nagar police, the robbers fled away with booty worth Rs 4.92 lakh, comprising a gold chain, earrings, rings, mangalsutra and Rs 2,000 in cash. Recalling the incident, Naval said, “Since the robbers were speaking in Marwari and they informed us that they had come from Ajmer, which is our hometown, I opened the door to check their credentials. Within no time they were inside the house.”
Dhananjay Bagayatkar, senior police inspector of Nehru Nagar police station, said, “We have registered a case under Sections 392 (Punishment for robbery), 397 (Robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), 452 (House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint), 34 of the IPC and 3 and 4 under Indian Arms Act.”
Interestingly, this is the second time that the Naval residence has been targeted by robbers in the last five years. During the previous loot, unidentified men had barged into the house and fired a round before they made away with booty worth Rs 6 lakh. According to Bhagwati it isn’t a coincidence that they have been robbed twice. She suspects the involvement of a local, who is keeping a hawk’s eye on their daily routine.
“They have gauged that there are no men in this house during daytime. The robbers were talking on the phone and were taking instructions from that person, who must have kept vigil outside our residence,” said Bhagwati. Sohani’s husband Khiyaram, who is into footwear business, said, “At the time of the robbery, only my wife and daughter were at home. I’m happy to see them safe and sound.”