Mumbai: Godmother of Ghatkopar strips to avoid arrest, held after filmi chase

Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 11:23 IST | Suraj Ojha

Ghatkopar's mafia queen Karima Shah stood in her underwear, confident that not a single policeman would lay a finger on her. What she didn't realise was that a policewoman would have no such qualms

When vegetable vendor Rakesh Gupta (22) refused to pay hafta, Karima Shah’s goons thrashed him mercilessly. Illustrations/Uday Mohite
When vegetable vendor Rakesh Gupta (22) refused to pay hafta, Karima Shah’s goons thrashed him mercilessly. Illustrations/Uday Mohite

She couldn’t bear the thought of being arrested, so she decided to bare her body instead. Ghatkopar’s mafia queen Karima Shah stood in her underwear, confident that not a single policeman would lay a finger on her. What she didn’t realise was that a policewoman would have no such qualms.

Rakesh gave them Rs 3,000, but the goons said it was not enough. They ransacked his vegetable cart and Karima even snatched his gold chainRakesh gave them Rs 3,000, but the goons said it was not enough. They ransacked his vegetable cart and Karima even snatched his gold chain

This was not the first time that Karima had the police on her heels. The Std IV-pass had started out as a small-time crook building illegal shanties in Ghatkopar and, over time, her clout grew so strong that s he came to be feared as the godmother of Ghatkopar. Her gang was responsible for 50% of the robberies that took place in the Central and Eastern suburbs.

Karima had warned Rakesh not to go to the police, but he was fed up of being exploited, so he filed an FIR
Karima had warned Rakesh not to go to the police, but he was fed up of being exploited, so he filed an FIR

But each time the police tried to arrest her, she would come up with some or the other ploy to scare them off. Her favourite trick was to strip in public and threaten the cops with charges of molestation if they laid a finger on her. No policeman wanted that kind of trouble.

Read Story: Mumbai crime: Here's how this woman turned into a mafia queen in 6 yrs

Karima got down from the auto and tried to flee, but the police had surrounded her by then
Karima got down from the auto and tried to flee, but the police had surrounded her by then

Last year, mid-day had reported how the 46-year-old was finally arrested by the Tilak Nagar police after one of her henchmen squealed on her (‘Godmother of Ghatkopar’, September 11, 2015). But she drank phenyl inside the police station and had to be rushed to the hospital. Cops suspected that she had intended to allege custodial violence in a bid to defame the police. She was then granted bail in a couple of days.

Cops caught up with Karima and blocked her auto’s path
Cops caught up with Karima and blocked her auto’s path

Veggie vendor’s ordeal
Out on bail, Karima soon went back to her criminal ways, terrorising local shopkeepers into paying hafta. On November 3, she was collecting hafta from Netaji Nagar when a vegetable vendor, Rakesh Gupta (22), refused to pay up.

She started to strip and told the cops she’d accuse them of molestation if they laid a finger on her
She started to strip and told the cops she’d accuse them of molestation if they laid a finger on her

The 4-5 goons who were with Karima began to thrash Rakesh with wooden sticks and threatened to kill him if he didn’t give them money. Frightened, Rakesh pulled out Rs 3,000 from his handcart, but the thugs said it wasn’t enough. “The goons ransacked Rakesh’s shop and walked away with his earnings. As if that was not bad enough, Karima even snatched his gold chain while he was gasping for breath,” said a cop from Pant Nagar police station, where the vegetable seller lodged a complaint.

But the cops had a brainwave too — a woman cop would not be accused of sexual abuse. And so, the semi-nude Karima was finally hauled off by a woman traffic cop
But the cops had a brainwave too — a woman cop would not be accused of sexual abuse. And so, the semi-nude Karima was finally hauled off by a woman traffic cop

Karima had warned Rakesh that he and his family would die if he told the police anything, but his relative pointed out that Karima would never stop exploiting him unless he did something about it. On Thursday, Rakesh went to the police, who registered an FIR against Karima and her goons under Sections 395, 397, 504 of the IPC and Section 37 (1) B of the Bombay Police Act.

Karima Mujeeb Shah
Karima Mujeeb Shah

Strip chase
The same day, the Pant Nagar police received a tip-off that Karima was about to arrive at the old Ghatkopar RTO office in an auto rickshaw. A team of cops began to follow her in another auto, but when they realised that she was accompanied by two of her henchmen, the policemen called for back-up.

Vegetable vendor Rakesh Gupta refused to pay hafta
Vegetable vendor Rakesh Gupta refused to pay hafta

A second team joined the chase, once again in an auto to avoid suspicion.

As Karima’s auto reached Bisleri junction, a policeman blocked her way with his bike. Karima got down and tried to flee but when she realised that she had been surrounded, she went back to her tried-and-tested trick —she stripped down to her underwear.

“Luckily, the Bisleri junction had one woman traffic cop on duty. She intervened and ensured that Karima was taken into custody,” said an officer from Pant Nagar police station.

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