5 held for robbery bid near state guest house | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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5 held for robbery bid near state guest house

While Union home minister P Chidambaram was conducting a security review meet at Sahyadri Guest house in Malabar Hill on Monday, five armed men were planning to gain entry into a nine-storey building situated barely 50 metres away.

mumbai Updated: Oct 07, 2011 01:04 IST
Mohamed Thaver

While Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was conducting a security review meet at Sahyadri Guest house in Malabar Hill on Monday, five armed men were planning to gain entry into a nine-storey building situated barely 50 metres away. They were literally stopped in their tracks by the Mumbai police. The accused have told the crime branch they were on their way to loot a flat on the eighth floor of the Raj Niketan building.

“The accused claim they had been preparing for the crime for the past few months,” said an officer from Unit 5 of the Crime Branch, who did not wish to be named. “They had roped in a watchman of the building as well, who we are currently interrogating. We are also checking the security measures taken by the building, considering its proximity to the state guest house,” he added.

The top brass of the Mumbai police had been anxious ever since Unit 5 of the crime branch received a tip-off that a group of armed men were planning to strike at the Raj Niketan building. The matter became all the more serious considering the Union home minister and other top politicians were meeting at the state guest house on Monday.

The police had information that Lallan Kamlaprasad Nishad alias Pandey Maharaj —involved in high profile house break-ins worth Rs15 crore and Rs25 lakh in South Mumbai — was planning his final major strike in the city before moving back to his native place Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh. “Lallan, who has also been arrested by the Anti Terrorism Squad in connection with a case of stolen diamonds, has a bungalow in Sultanpur. He would take up a job as a cook at the house where he would plan a strike,” said the officer. He had worked as a cook at a sixth floor apartment in Raj Niketan building before planning the strike.

Lallan had put together a team of five, comprising his cousin Mayaram Lakhai Nishad, 20, Upendra Bhiri Shahi, 23, and two others to conduct this robbery. Nishad and Shahi were arrested along with Lallan.

“When we realised that Lallan and his gang were planning the break-in on Monday when the home minister would be at the guest house, we realised we could not wait any longer and arrested Lallan, Nishad and Shahi,” said the officer.

The police recovered two revolvers and choppers from the accused following which they were presented before the local court which sent them to police custody till October 11. DCP Nisar Tamboli (crime) said, “The accused have been arrested on the charge of preparation to commit dacoity and relevant sections of the Arms Act.”