Duped at Kurla station last month, a 32-year-old Mankhurd resident, Imtiaz Khan, succeeded in investigating the case himself and handed over two of the accused to the Government Railway Police (GRP).
Khan was the latest victim of a gang that operates at Kurla station. Members promise people heading to north India reserved train tickets, then rob them of their belongings. Khan fell prey to their wiles on February 23, when he reached the station early in the morning to buy a ticket to his native place, Gonda.
“My train was scheduled at 11.10am; I reached the station at 6.45am. As I reached platform 2, a man approached me, speaking in my local dialect,” he said.
The man said his 15-year-old brother was headed to Gorakhpur, a few stations ahead of Gonda, and requested Khan to accompany the minor. The man convinced Khan that his “relative” was a ticket checker (TC) and could scrounge up reserved tickets for both of them.
“They convinced me to come with them to the TC’s office and put a phone to my ear asking me to speak to him. I immediately started to feel dizzy,” Khan added.
The two took Khan to a tiny office in Chembur, where they threatened him, made him hand over all the valuables he had — a mobile phone and cash, together worth Rs5,000 — and bolted.
When Khan complained to the Kurla GRP, they asked him to go to the same platform and let them know if he saw the duo. On February 25, Khan spotted the boy at the station and overpowered him. Another man appeared and tried to beat Khan up, but locals quickly separated the fight and restrained the two accused. Khan called up the GRP who arrested the duo.
Ramesh Sankpal, assistant sub inspector, Kurla GRP, confirmed that they had arrested Mohammad Dhoniya, 22, and the boy. “The two are part of a gang of around 10-15. Many similar cases have been reported to us. We are hoping to track down the main accused now,” he added. The 15-year-old is at the Dongri children’s home and Dhoniya was in police custody till Saturday.