Hidden Delhi cave where thieves stashed away loot was also used for drug use, escaping police eye
It was around a year ago that thieves decided to start stashing their stolen goods and hide in the cave after they realised that the police were looking out for them.delhi Updated: Apr 08, 2017 12:46 IST
Much before it was used as a hideout for a group of thieves, a 50-metre long cave nestled in a hill near Chanakyapuri railway station had been serving as a den for drug addicts.
Some of the six accused nabbed from the cave have allegedly told police that they had chanced upon it years ago while searching for a safe place to do smack, away from the public glare.
Police said some of the accused had grown up in Shastri Market and Moti Gaon, neighbourhoods in Moti Bagh which are not far from the cave.
“One of them chanced upon the cave and hit upon the plan of consuming drugs there with his friends a few years ago. This group later started indulging in thefts. But once they entered our crime records, they needed a place to hide,” a senior police officer told HT.
It was around a year ago that they decided to start stashing their stolen goods and hide in the cave after they realized that the police were looking out for them.
People working in areas near the cave or those that visited the railway tracks, said they were aware that a cave existed nearby but never bothered to check it out because of its height and tough terrain.
“I used to often notice this cave whenever I visited the railway tracks in the morning. I also sometimes saw people climbing the hill, but never knew that they lived in the caves,” said Manish, a boy living in a slum nearby.
Police said a tip-off led them to the cave on Thursday. Their informer accompanied them to point out the exact location of the cave.
“The arrested men, Virender, Kunal, Raju, Santosh, Bablu and Anand, all aged between 20 and 30, used to generally break into houses in posh South Delhi localities like Moti Bagh, Sarojini Nagar, RK Puram and Vasant Vihar,” said Chinmoy Biswal, additional DCP (south).
“They would also sometimes target couples in the forested areas along Ridge Road in central Delhi. They would overpower the man and rob the couple of any valuables they had,” said an investigator.
During their thefts, the gang would also particularly look out for branded clothes. “One of the thieves was found wearing a pair of branded jeans and belt that he had stolen during a recent theft,” said the officer.
When the police visited the homes of the accused in order to round them up for questioning, their family members apparently always claimed that the men were lodged in jail. For investigators, it was a tough job to verify these claims, giving the thieves had an easy run for long.
The arrested men have told the police they never disclosed the location of the cave to anyone, not even their relatives.
During their period of stay in the cave, the men would frequent a gurdwara in Moti Bagh for the morning langar served there. “The gurdwara was close to their cave, so they did not have to venture far for food. They loved the langar food,” said a police officer, who interrogated the suspects.
- From the entrance, it is a four metre long crawl to the insides of the cave.
- Apart from the two entrances, there are three different paths inside the cave, each ending in a wall.
- A large pit serves as the storage space where the thieves hid their stolen goods.
- Though filled with rocks, the insides of the cave can sleep rough a dozen persons.
- The insides of the cave are pitch dark, forcing the occupants to use mobile phones as torch to go about their job.
- From the entrance, it is a four metre long crawl to the insides of the cave. The cave is located around 10 metres on a hill above the railway line.
- From the entrance, it is a four metre long crawl to the insides of the cave. The last leg of the steep climb to the cave can be covered only with the help of a small tree jutting out of the hill.
- Mobile phones and Watches
- Credit/debit cards
- Jewellery n TV sets
- Beer bottles
- Empty desi liquor bottles
- Water bottles
- Used plastic plates and glasses
- Cigarette packets
- Rotting food
- Polythene covers
- Blankets and bed sheets
- Plastic pipes