Mumbai's first encounter killing
By: Sunday Midday Team
The encounter with trend-setting dacoit Manya Surve was the Mumbai police's first, and took place on January 11, 1982|
Crime branch officials received a tip-off that Surve was visiting a beauty parlour near Ambedkar College junction at Wadala to pick up his girlfriend, a beautician. A crack team of 18 officers and constables in civil clothes surrounded the area, waiting for the dreaded urban dacoit.
Pic for representational purposes
Seconds after his car stopped to pick up the beautiful widow and mother of two children, Surve was cornered by the police. He was killed in broad daylight even as he gripped a Webly and Scott revolver in his hand.
Born Manohar Arjun Surve, Surve was inspired by the plot of a James Headly Chase novel he had read while serving a jail term, and decided to loot money from a government milk scheme. It was a ploy to gain recognition in the upper echelon of Mumbai's underworld.
A car was stolen near Bharka Bijlee in Mahim and a heist of Rs 1.26 lakh was executed near Govandi. The stolen vehicle was later found abandoned near National College in Bandra, exactly as penned in the Chase novel.
Surve was a student of Kirti College in Dadar when he took to crime. He was a very patient plotter of high-profile robberies in the city.
Two other robberies of more than Rs 3 lakh, a high figure in the early 80s, had the police under tremendous pressure. Soon, khabris were tapped for more information on the dacoit. A vital tip-off led to the elimination of Surve's right-hand-man Sheik Munir. Associates Parshuram Katkar and Dayanand Shetty were also rounded up in quick succession.
The systematic combing of hideouts restricted Surve's operations in the city. He soon became a one-man army, though that lasted for just a few weeks.
Even today, most of the chindis or robbers as they are known in the underworld, follow Surve's footsteps. All are meticulous planners and capable of deadly risks. Hundreds of them have already been killed on the streets of Mumbai.