Drug mafia Shashikala Patankar alias Baby, who evaded the Mumbai police for over a month, was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch near Panvel on Wednesday.
The police threw a tight security cordon around her, citing threat to her life from the syndicate for which she ran. Ironically, the role of more policemen in the racket is being probed. Patankar, 53, is a co-accused in a narcotics case registered in the Marine Drive police station against dismissed constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe.
Patankar was arrested at around 6.30am, by a team of social service branch (SSB) officials while she was travelling in a private transport bus to Mumbai.
Interestingly, the officials learnt that she had come to Mumbai twice and stayed here for a few days even as the police were looking for her. Patankar had also applied for an anticipatory bail plea and also met her lawyer once in Mumbai, added the police.
On Wednesday, an SSB team, headed by deputy commissioner of police Pravin Patil along with inspectors Jagdev Kalapad, Nishikant Vishwakar and constables Ghag and Shityalkar, received a tip off about Patankar. The informer told them the registration number of the bus in which she was allegedly travelling.
The officers rushed to Panvel and laid a trap near on the Mumbai-bound lane near Mumbai-Pune Express Highway. They intercepted it and found Patankar travelling with son Girish, neighbor Sachin Dayalkar and her juvenile granddaughter.
“Patankar was returning from Kudal and we found a mobile phone without a SIM card on her. She has been hopping between a village near Kudal and Mumbai,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner and Mumbai police spokesperson.
While Girish and Dayalkar are being questioned, Patankar’s granddaughter will be handed over into the custody of child welfare committee.
Patankar was produced in Killa Court on Wednesday and was remanded to police custody till April 28. The case has been transferred to crime branch and further probe will be conducted by them.