Rescue ‘god’ turns out to be a thief | india | Hindustan Times
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Rescue ‘god’ turns out to be a thief

He was one of the first to reach the crash site in Mangalore on May 22 to carry out rescue operations. An Air India Express plane had just crashed, killing 158 passengers.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2010 23:07 IST

He was one of the first to reach the crash site in Mangalore on May 22 to carry out rescue operations. An Air India Express plane had just crashed, killing 158 passengers.

Ten days later, on Wednesday, Akbar alias Sattar (23), a driver plying on the airport route, was arrested for allegedly robbing those killed in the crash. Jewellery and other valuables worth Rs 6.32 lakh were recovered from him.

The police also booked Irshad alias Baddumunde, an autorickshaw driver, and Altaf, a local resident. The two, however, are absconding. The police said said the trio, posing as rescue workers, had removed ornaments from the crash victims.

The arrest came after the District Crime Intelligence Bureau in Mangalore monitored the activities of rescue workers following a May 24 report in HT on the possibility of the victims’ belongings falling into wrong hands.

Sattar was produced before a local court and sent on judicial remand.

“Sattar was identified due to the sudden change in his lifestyle. We caught him while he was trying to sell eight gold bangles, three mangal sutras (a necklace put up by married Hindus women), a gold chain, a pendant and a pearl necklace,” said a Bajpe police station officer.

Raids at his house in Kuppepadavu, on the outskirts of Mangalore, also revealed a large number of ornaments and valuables hidden in a chicken coop.

Sattar and his accomplices allegedly went about their filching job, as the Bajpe police tried to prepare a long list of inventories before sealing the belongings of the passengers collected from the wreckage.