A day after the Hindustan Times reported a rise in cases of theft in the eastern and central suburbs — nine cases in the past two months — the Ghatkopar police arrested six persons for allegedly robbing a social worker in Ghatkopar.
This was the latest in the series of such robberies. Only two of the nine cases had been solved and the culprits arrested before this. Also, in these two cases, it was the victims, passersby and beat marshals who nabbed the culprits.
Police sources said on condition of anonymity since they are not authorised to speak to the media that they are now stepping up investigations into the unsolved cases.
Sanjay Shintre, deputy commissioner of police (Zone 7), said: “We are investigating all pending cases and we should be able to solve them soon.”
The social worker, Yusuf Patel, 32, who was going to his Chembur home on Monday night in his Tata Safari, was stopped by two men on a motorbike. As his driver hit the brakes, a rickshaw with five men inside pulled up alongside. All of them then attacked Patel and his driver and fled with cash and valuables, such as gold chains and a high-end cellphone, worth Rs 80,000.
Police Inspector U Kholekar, of the Ghatkopar police, said: “The hit on Patel was a case of mistaken identity. The accused were told to attack someone else. They were arrested on Wednesday after Patel identified them. We are trying to find out who ordered the attack.”
The accused have been identified as Tajun Noor Mohammad Shaikh, 20; Mohammad Hasan alias Mohammad Bangali, 20; Shabbir alias Shabbu, 19; Mohammad Hussain Shaikh, 20; Shabbir Ahmed, 23; and Mohammad Imtiaz, 22.
“The Ghatkopar police told me they have narrowed down the list of those who might have ordered the attack to seven. I went to the police station and identified the six men who attacked me,” Patel said.