Alert cops foil escape of three arms robbers on Nashik Highway

Updated: Dec 15, 2017, 21:26 IST | Santosh Wagh | Mumbai

High drama on Nashik highway as cops confront jeep with arms near toll naka; three Mumbaikars held for stealing weapons and bullets from Kanpur factory

Nashik highway witnessed high drama early on Friday, after the police intercepted a Mahindra Bolero jeep with a stolen arms cache worth lakhs of rupees. While the police, acting on a tip-off, laid a trap at Chandwad toll naka in Nashik, the driver in the jeep attempted to escape by pointing a pistol at them. The police, however, had already placed road-blocks at strategic locations ahead, and managed to foil their escape.

Illustration/ Uday Mohite
The cops in disguise asked the Bolero driver to stop, but the men in the car brandished pistols at them. Illustration/ Uday Mohite

The police have arrested three people, all residents of Mumbai, and seized 24 rifles, 19 pistols and 4,136 live bullets from inside the vehicle. The cops were first alerted about the jeep by staff at a nearby petrol station.

According to police sources at Nashik, the jeep had come to Sai Suman petrol pump station at Wake node, Malegaon district, for refuelling late on Thursday night.

The 24 rifles and 17 pistols; the over 4,000 bullets and 10 bullets of 0.32 bore that were seized from the vehicle intercepted by the police on the Nashik highway
The 24 rifles and 17 pistols; the over 4,000 bullets and 10 bullets of 0.32 bore that were seized from the vehicle intercepted by the police on the Nashik highway

The driver of the jeep had asked the pump employee to refuel the vehicle with diesel worth R2,700. After filling the fuel, when the attendant asked to be paid, the driver flashed a gun at him and fled from the site. The staff immediately called up the police.

The police swung into action and laid a trap at Chandwad toll naka. When the vehicle approached the toll naka, the cops, who were dressed as toll attendants, asked the driver of the vehicle to stop. The driver tried to skip toll by pointing a pistol at them, but the road blocks ahead prevented them from fleeing. The trio was then detained and brought to the police station.

The 24 rifles and 17 pistols; the over 4,000 bullets and 10 bullets of 0.32 bore that were seized from the vehicle intercepted by the police on the Nashik highway

A thorough search revealed the arms cache from specially-created compartments inside the vehicle. According to preliminary investigations, the arms were smuggled from an ordnance factory in Kanpur, UP, but its destination, and the motive behind the operation is not known yet.

Speaking to mid-day, Nashik Rural Police SP, Sanjay Darade said, "The robbers seem to have looted a weapons shop at Banda, UP. We have traced an FIR to a Banda police station. They were heading towards Mumbai. Probe is on."

The accused have been identified as Rajendra Bansode, 23, Salman Amanulla Khan, 19, and Badrinumaj Akbar Badshah alias Sumit, 27. "They will be produced in the court today. Further investigations are underway," said Anil Mohit, senior inspector of Chandwad Police.

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