60-yr-old woman led gang of housebreakers
Thane resident has been arrested along with other members of outfit that operated in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka
Neither age nor the law had managed to slow down Suraj Kaur Tarasingh Kalani. Vikhroli police on Thursday busted a gang of housebreakers led by the 60-year-old. The outfit carried out several robberies at various jewellery shops in the city.
The Vikhroli jewellery store that the gang led by Suraj Kaur Tarasingh Kalani looted in May last year
On May 12, 2011 a break-in had taken place at Mangaldeep Jewellers on Station Road in Vikhroli (East). The accused had barged into the closed shop, tied up the two employees who were inside and fled with around 30 kg of silver and 3 kg of gold along with Rs 18,000 in cash - booty of around Rs 70 lakh in total.
In further investigations police found some CCTV footage in the shop of the crime in progress. "Initially we thought it was the handiwork of the two victims that were present in the store and that they might have tipped off their friends to carry out a robbery.
But after several rounds of inquiry we found them to be innocent," said Dilip Thorat, police inspector of Vikhroli police station.
Cops then showed the footage to a lot of informers and were told that the culprits belonged to the Singhkalkar gang and the woman who headed the outfit stayed in Varthak Nagar, Thane.
All in the family
"We traced the woman Suraj Kaur Tarasingh Kalani (60) and learnt that her 35-year-old son Gujratsingh alias Akshay Kumar Tarasingh Kalani was admitted in Thane Mental Hospital. In further investigations we found that Gujratsingh was mentally ill and was vocal about his mother's activities while speaking to everyone.
After the crime, the accused admitted him to the hospital. She even tied him with a chain at her house to stop him from going out," said a police officer from Vikhroli.
Cops also learnt that Suraj Kaur's four sons Jagansingh, Pappsingh, Kadwadsingh and Gujratsingh had carried out the break-in.
"We completed the operation under the guidance of Qaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police, Eastern Region. The mother sold the valuables to a jeweller in Buldhana, Sandeep Shahane, who has been arrested by us and we have recovered goods worth around Rs 18 lakh.
Some of the gang members are still wanted," said Sanjay Shintre, deputy commissioner of police, Zone VII. The outfit has allegedly carried out several break-ins in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka.