Posing as NCB officers, three men had demanded to search Kruttika Desai’s car for narcotics, gutsy actor filmed them and escaped; cops act on mid-day’s report
Accused Shankar Pandhidhar runs a garment shop (right) Pawan Vishwakarma, the other accused
Acting on a mid-day report about a group of men who posed as officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau and harassed actor Kruttika Desai, the police have arrested two persons. Cops said the two and their accomplice, who is on the run, would extort artists coming out of Goregaon Film City after demanding to search them for drugs. The police took the help of a video recorded by the actor to track down the accused.
The Dindoshi police said Mira Road resident Shankar Pandhidhar, 27, and Pawan Vishwakarma of Mira Road and a third person had waylaid Desai last month on the Film City Road in the forested Aarey Milk Colony at Goregaon East. They demanded to search her car after identifying themselves as NCB officer. The gutsy actor recorded a video of the trio and escaped from the spot.
API Dr Chandrakant Gharge of Dindoshi police station said, “We learnt about the incident after it was published in mid-day. We immediately contacted actress Kruttika Desai for registering an FIR. We recorded her statement at the Film City and registered a suo motu case.”
Actor Kruttika Desai, the complainant
Gharge said their team went through the footage from hundreds of CCTV cameras but couldn’t find any lead. The cops then began looking for the trio in many slum pockets. A tip helped them catch Pandhidhar from Pimpri Pada at Kurar Village, Malad East. He led the police to 28-year-old Vishwakarma. Pandhidhar runs a garment shop, while Vishwakarma works for a private firm, said the police.
The actor said, “I want to tell all girls who travel alone, you should record a video, it will help you. If such an incident happens to you, inform your parents, police and relatives as they are the right people. Don’t be scared in such situations which are taken to advantage by these types of accused.”
DCP Somanath Gharge of Zone 12 said the fake NCB officers would get active after finishing their day’s work. “They found that NCB recently registered such cases against Bollywood celebrities and arrested many of them. Influenced by the NCB action, they targeted Bollywood people travelling from Film City. We suspect they have extorted several people.”