In carefully planned operation, 26 Mumbai police personnel disguised as doctors and patients in ambulances face angry mob in Ambivali, make it to level crossing in the nick of time
The cops put Zakir inside one of the ambulances and prepared to exit the place. So far, none of the civilians had realised that the police were present among them and were apprehending someone.
In an operation that was no less than a dramatic Bollywood police chase, Mumbai police officers from Zone XI disguised themselves as doctors and patients in ambulances to nab two alleged chain snatchers from Ambivali on Saturday, February 4. In a carefully timed exercise that lasted just a few minutes, the police party of 26 caught one of the two accused, identified as Sayyed Zakir alias Sanga.
Arrested accused Sayyed Zakir alias Sanga
Zakir belongs to the so-called Irani gang and has 27 cases of chain snatching and cheating registered against him, three of which were registered in 2022. Zakir was traced to Ambivali with the help of footage from several CCTVs and information received by MHB Colony police’s Assistant Police Inspector (API) Suryakant Pawar. Considering that many such plans of the police have failed in Ambivali, senior inspector Sudhir Kudalkar, API Pawar and API Akhilesh Bombe, under the guidance of Zone XI Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ajaykumar Bansal, recced the area few times and gathered information about the accused.
Zakir was produced in court on Monday and has been remanded to police custody. His family told mid-day that Zakir is innocent and that the actual criminals implicated him to save their skin. They blamed factionalism in their community for Zakir’s arrest.
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No of snatching, cheating cases filed against him
01. The 26 police personnel reached Ambivali around 4 pm on Saturday in two ambulances and three cars. The disguise was created considering that people from the neighbourhood may rush to the accused’s defence. Cops spotted Sayyed Zakir alias Sanga and another unidentified accused at a tea stall near the Imambada. Illustration/Uday Mohite
02. As the vehicles approached, the unidentified man noticed the Mumbai registration numbers on them and fled from the spot. Zakir was yet to understand what had happened and before he could put two and two together, the police surrounded him.
04. The ambulances and cars had moved just a couple of metres when the crowd started stirring, and stones started raining on the vehicles. The ambulance that was ahead sped away but the one behind, which had Zakir, got stuck amid the mob.
05. The cops in private cars sprung into action. They stood in front of the ambulance, creating a fence. They moved the crowd aside and made way for the ambulance carrying Zakir to cross. The frenzied operation took hardly a few minutes.
06. Some of the cops outside sustained injuries due to the stone pelting. They rushed inside their private car, with some hanging from the doors, and sped towards the level crossing. Police were worried that it would be closed but found it open and sped away.