Two cops injured in a scuffle with ATM robbers in Pune

Aug 18, 2014, 06:57 IST | Salil Urunkar

The policemen had reached the crime scene just in time to ruin the robbery attempt, chasing and finally nabbing one of the suspects

A routine early morning patrol turned into a daring and dramatic criminal chase for Police Constable Mukund Kokane and Assistant Police Inspector D S Shinde, when two crooks attempted to rob an ATM in Kalewadi, near Sangvi on Saturday.

Police Constable Mukund Kokane
Police Constable Mukund Kokane was admitted to the government hospital in Aundh for injuries received to his hands and legs in a scuffle with the ATM robbers

The robbers were attempting to break into an Axis Bank ATM near Anand Plaza, on the main road in Kalewadi. Since the ATM had an automatic alarm system, there was no security guard present there.

The suspects had already broken the machine’s main lock, and were about to cut the metal cover, when the bank officials received the alarm at 2.30 am, and notified the Sangvi police station. Kokane and Shinde were immediately asked to check the ATM.

Hot pursuit
“When we reached the spot we warned the suspects to surrender to us. But since they were hardened criminals they tried to run away from the spot. We chased them for about 200 metres, but in that run the suspects pushed us down three times and assaulted us with a sickle and other sharp weapons,” said Kokane. Once additional staff from the police station reached the spot, they managed to catch hold of one of the suspects, but the other escaped.

Just in time
According to API Shinde, the suspects had just been about to flee with thousands of rupees. “The suspects had almost broken the machine. The automatic alarm sound system warned them to stop in Marathi, Hindi and English, but they did not pay heed to it. If we had reached even five minutes later, they would have fled from the spot with the cash,” he said.

“They were equipped with all types of specialised tools and sharp weapons to rob the ATM. Although we don’t have exact details about their past criminal record as of now, looking at their modus operandi it seems likely that they are hardened criminals and had performed a recce before committing the crime,” added Shinde, who was treated at the Aundh government hospital along with Kokane for injuries received on their hands and legs from their scuffle with the crooks.

The arrested suspect was identified as Shahidul Roufiq Mandal (22) from Mumbai. He originally hailed from Shantipur village in the Lodhia district in West Bengal. His accomplice was identified as his brother, Lambu Mandal (20). “Shahidul is claiming that he was brought to Pune on Friday night by his brother Lambu on the pretext of getting a job in Pune. We are yet to verify his claims,” said Shinde.

Shahidul has been remanded to seven days of police custody by a court of Judicial Magistrate of First Class (JMFC) on Saturday. Shinde added, “We are trying to find out how big this gang is, and whether they have committed similar offences in the past. We have also sought information from bank officials about the amount of cash which was there in the machine when the incident happened.”

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