Pune: 'Munnabhai' and Co set shoe store on fire over 'free' slippers

Updated: Dec 28, 2016, 12:50 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh |

Rowdy, drunken gang stabs owner of shoe store, sets three shops ablaze in Pune's Morewadi area, after being asked to pay for pair of sandals shoplifted by one of them

Three shops, including a garage, were gutted in the fire
Three shops, including a garage, were gutted in the fire

Pune: Owners of a shoe shop in Morewadi were left quaking in their boots after a gang of drunken rowdies stole a pair of flats from their store, stabbed one of the owners and set the shop on fire when they left to register a police complaint.

The incident occurred around 10.45 pm on Sunday in the Ideal Shoes store in Morewadi. The store’s owner, Irshad Khan and his brother Afzal were closing the shop for the day.

The blaze charred motorbikes in the garage next door
The blaze charred motorbikes in the garage next door

“Due to Christmas, there was a huge rush and around 10.45 pm, me and my brother Afzal were closing the shop when a gang of four boys came to our shop on a scooter to buy shoes. I requested them to hurry up if they planned to buy any shoes,” Irshad told mid-day.

Afzal Khan and Irshad Khan who received six stitches on his head
Afzal Khan and Irshad Khan who received six stitches on his head

Casually shoe-lifting
“Afzal noticed they were drunk and we could not bear the stench. Later, they complained saying we hadn’t entertained them. Afzal presented some shoes to them but they didn’t like any, so he started picking them up. Just then, I noticed that one of the boys walked out of the store wearing a pair of flats from our shop.”

Also read - Mumbai Crime: Thieves rob Lalbaug flat, then set fire to the place

Afzal said, “I called the teenager and asked him to pay. He asked me to collect the money from Munna. I said its better you tell him and give me the money. Hearing this, he started physically abusing my brother and me but we managed to restrain all of six of them. Later, a boy removed a sharp weapon from his bike pannier and stabbed Irshad in the head. We snatched the weapon and then the boys fled. My brother was bleeding; we informed the police about the incident. The cops came to us and asked us to get the group’s bike. My friend took the bike to the police station, while I rushed Irshad to the hospital.”

Irshad had to receive six stitches on his forehead and is recuperating in the hospital.

Set fire to shops
He added, “After the doctor administered first aid to Irshad, I went to the police station to report the incident. Then, around 11.45 pm, my neighbour called me and said the boys had returned and set our shop on fire. I rushed to the spot and alerted the fire brigade. But they took a while to reach, due to which both of my shops, including my neighbour’s garage, which had three motorbikes and one scooter were charred.”

“We are shocked. This is so bad; the store was our bread and butter and we were already running in losses as we’d purchased a huge stock of shoes for Christmas and New Year. Most of the sales take place in January and during such peak hours, the incident occurred.”

Cop speak
VV Mugalikar, senior inspector of Pimpri police station said, “We have detained six youths, of which three are minors. Munna has a criminal record while the others are his friends. The minor are still in school. The gang seems to have use kerosene to set the shops ablaze. In all, three shops and three Bullet motorbikes have been destroyed. Goods worth Rs 16.6 lakh have been damaged.”

A case has been registered under Sections 307, 436, 504, 506, 143 of the IPC and the Arms Act and Mumbai Police Act. The arrested accused are Munna alias Mahesh Chandshive, Modak alias Deepak Navratre, Prakash Magar and Munna Valmiki.

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