The team of police officers who had gone to Madhya Pradesh to arrest the remaining gang members responsible for conducting thefts at wedding receptions in the city, returned empty handed because they claim the village is in favour of the accused.
So far, seven people have been arrested including minors.
The gang consists of over 18 people whose modus operandi has been to come to the city during wedding season between October to December.
However, this year the city police registered over 10 cases in the city in which the gang has made away with over 1 kg of gold and several lakhs in cash. “During the other months of the year these people target places like Bhopal and Itawa using the same modus operandi,” said assistant police inspector, Jamil Shaikh of Santacruz police station.
The arrested people have been identified as Jasodha Harijan, 60, Manoj Sisodiya, 23, Mandakini Sisodiya, 21, Bunty Sisodiya, 23, Gautam Sisodiya, 21, and two juveniles.
The five accused have been remanded to police custody, while the minors have been sent to the Dongri Children’s Home.
When the police team reached Gulkhedi village in Madhya Pradesh, the head of the village refused to assist the police in their investigations.
“It appeared as if the entire village is not only supporting the thieves but also involved in the crime. One of the accused in our custody told us the head of the village is aware of their activities and is also a party to the crime,” said a police officer requesting anonymity, because he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Police further added that the gang used to hire old women aged between 60-80 years and pay them Rs 5,000 each.
Their job was to pose as the grandmother of the minors in case they were arrested. Those involved in the crime were trained to carry out the thefts.
“We arrested one of these old women and after releasing her, followed her. She changed three auto rickshaws to make sure that no one was following her. She finally reached a flat in Mira Road from where we arrested the seven people,” added Shaikh.