Mumbai: Cops arrest two manhole cover thieves after woman falls into one
Some days back, a woman had slipped into a manhole in Mulund while on her way home, because its cover was missing
Days after a Mulund resident, Neelima Puranik, got sucked into a manhole on her way back home from a temple in Bhakti Marg area, the police arrested two people for stealing the manhole cover and causing the accident. The accused have been identified as Hayatullah Khan, 27, and Shafiullah Khan, 20.
Accused Hayatullah Khan and Shafiullah Khan
Manhole cover stolen
Speaking to mid-day, Kishor Gandhi, assistant commissioner of T ward, said, "After the incident, we had filed a complaint with the police, because the manhole cover had been stolen. Such incidents have increased in the past one month as 40-50 covers have gone missing."
Victim Neelima Puranik
Taking an initiative in the matter, the Mulund police registered an FIR against unknown people under section 379 of IPC. Thereafter, they formed a team of 16 people and started investigating the matter. They had even kept informers in the loop. A police officer said that they had collected all the CCTV footages of the area from the time the incident took place. While going through the footages, they spotted an ECO car in one of them. Later, API Avinash Pore received a tip off that the vehicle was used in stealing the manhole cover and was later taken to Chembur. Thereafter, the cops zeroed in on the vehicle and with the help of informers arrested the accused.
The manhole cover that has been recovered from the accused
Sold to scrap dealer
Speaking to mid-day, Shripad Kale, senior inspector of Mulund police station, said, "Both the accused stole the manhole cover sold it to a Chembur-based scrap dealer for `3,000. We are looking for the scarp dealer, who will be arrested soon."
The temporary cover that has been put on the manhole. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
Another police officer said, "We have recovered five manhole covers from the accused. After being produced in court on Tuesday, they were sent to police custody for two days."