Alert motorman helps GRP catch signal pole thief in Mumbai
After being tipped off, police officers catch the robber red-handed at Vikhroli station while he was assaulting commuters with a stick
Motorman Kailash Choudhary
A hawk-eyed motorman helped the Railway GRP nab the leader of the 'Fatka Gang' -- who stand at railway signals and hit commuters on trains, getting them to drop their bags, phones -- red-handed near Vikhroli station.
Kailash Choudhary was operating a fast train to Thane, when he spotted a man perched on the signal pole. He icontacted the Railway Helpline and the Kurla GRP rushed to the spot and caught the accused, who had already snatched two mobile phones by then.
Signal pole thief
On March 4, Choudhary had started from CST at 8.50 pm. At Ghatkopar, the train changed to the slow track.
"As I was about to reach Vikhroli station, I saw the signal turn red and was slowing down. I suddenly spotted someone on the signal pole and he seemed to have a stick in his hand. When he saw that the train had halted before the station, he got off the pole and started walking towards the station,” Choudhary said.
He called the Railway Police helpline and the information was relayed from the control room to the Kurla GRP who informed their counterparts at Ghatkopar. A team led by sub-inspector Raosaheb Sankpal and constables Satish Pawar and Sumit Kadam reached Vikhroli station. They saw the CCTV footage, which showed the suspect walking towards platform 1. They were keeping a close watch on the platform and on the tracks close by, when they noticed a man standing on a signal pole 500 metres away.
"We saw him hitting commuters to grab their mobile phones. We rushed and caught him in the act," said an officer from Kurla GRP. The robber was identified as Mohsin Najrul Islam Mapankar (30). The police seized two mobile phones from him.
Mapankar has been arrested under IPC section 379 (theft), 356 (assault to commit theft), 150 (Hiring persons to join unlawful activity). "Mohsin is involved in many thefts and runs a gang that regularly commits such crimes. We are now trying to trace his associates," another officer said.
Choudhary said, "I was happy when the police told me that they had caught the robber whom I had spotted. I was 99 per cent sure that he was a mobile thief."