Mumbai: Brave constable nails fatka gang member after chase along rail tracks

Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 07:25 IST | Diwakar Sharma |

This was after Sayalu Irlawar stayed put at the crime spot for four days, waiting to catch the accused; senior inspector to reward him

Constable Sayalu Irlawar
Constable Sayalu Irlawar

A Fatka gang member came up against a very determined constable on Thursday, who risked his life to chase the man over 500 metres along the busy railway tracks, before hauling him to the police station. GRP Constable Constable Sayalu Irlawar, 32, had been itching to get his hands on Imran Shaikh, 24, since Monday, when he had badly hit two women travelling on trains for their phones.

The accused Imran Shaikh alias Immo, 24, is a resident of Antop Hill, and had hit the women from an electricity supply pole that he was perched on, to snatch their cell phones. His first victim was 21-year-old Subhangi Suresh Vangule, who was travelling in a local train between CSMT and Bandra. "When the train reached between Sewri and Cotton Green around 7:30 pm, Vangule was hit by someone, and lost her grip on her cell," said an officer attached to the Government Railway Police (GRP), Wadala.

She got off at Sewri railway station and started to cry as the long stick used to hit her had injured her chest. Other commuters consoled her and informed GRP personnel. An officer said constable Irlawar, who was deployed at the railway station, arrived there. On learning that Vangule was attacked by a fatka gang-member, Irlawar acted swiftly and reached the spot with her. "It was pitch dark. I had to scale a 6-ft boundary wall to reach the spot between pole number 6/8 and 6/10 where Vangule said she was hit.

After seeing me in uniform, Immo, who was still there searching for her cell phone that had fallen into the bush, started to run. I chased him between the railway tracks. He was hardly 20-ft away from me. But he managed to escape after scaling the boundary wall," Irlawar told mid-day. Vangule's phone was not found.

Irlawar went to the Wadala GRP outpost where a case under section 382 of IPC (theft after preparation for death, hurt) was registered. He was told by seniors that another woman, Vishakha Shatrughan Pandit, had also approached them to register a case, as she too was hit by the fatka gang at the same location at 7:45pm. Pandit lives in Panvel and was travelling to Cotton Green.

Irlawar went to the spot to look for Pandit's phone. "I had given my cell phone to Pandit and asked her to dial her mobile number. When it rang, we recovered it from the bushes below the pole atop which Immo must have been sitting," Irlawar said.

Senior Inspector Rajendra Pal asked Irlawar to wait at the crime spot and keep a close watch for the suspect. "I would go home only to change my uniform. I was always there between Sewri and Cotton Green even after my duty hours," Irlawar said. He said he had observed Immo's body language and had glimpses of his face.

Nabbed after second chase

On Thursday, he saw a man and recognised the body language. "I tried to get closer to him but he started to run. After chasing him for nearly 500 metres, I nailed Immo between the tracks and hauled him to Wadala GRP," Irlawar said.

"Constable Irlawar has done a great job. I am planning to give him a reward of R500 before all the officers at Wadala GRP. Also, I will recommend him to seniors for another award as this will enthuse and motivate staff members to work tirelessly to detect a case," Senior Inspector Pal said. The investigating team has learnt that Immo is a history-sheeter who is wanted in four similar crimes on the Central and Harbour lines. An officer at Wadala GRP said, "The accused is an addict who has committed these crimes for drugs."

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