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From homemakers in Haryana to professional chain snatchers in Mumbai

These four women trained their husbands and brothers to loot commuters in Mumbai’s local trains

mumbai Updated: Jul 24, 2018 00:57 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
Theif,Chain snatching,Crime
The Government Railway Police (GRP) have arrested a gang of seven from Haryana, including four women, in connection with two chain snatching incidents in Mumbai.(Picture for representation)

From homemakers in Haryana these four women turned into chain snatchers in Mumbai training their husbands and brothers too to loot commuters in local trains.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) have arrested a gang of seven from Haryana, including four women, in connection with two chain snatching incidents at Dadar and Panvel railway stations last week. Most of the accused are from the same family.

According to the GRP officers, the gang had come to Mumbai on a rental car with an intention to commit chain snatching. The gang was arrested while enroute to Pandharpur ,where they had decided to commit more snatchings.

The gang members have been identified as Meghsham Solanki, 24 and Arjun Chauhan,19 who are auto drivers in Haryana, Shashikumar Chauhan,36, a private car driver from Rajasthan who moved to Haryana six months ago, Rita Solanki, 23, the alleged mastermind and wife of Meghsham, her sister Reena Chauhan,25, Arjun’s sister Rashmi Chauhan,19 and her distant relative Mamtakumari Chauhan,20.

Officials said that last Tuesday, a woman travelling from Dadar station had reported that an unidentified person had robbed her chain of 10 grams at 1.15pm. While investigating the case, police found out that at 10.15am the same day, a chain snatching was reported from Panvel station where robbers had used the same modus operandi.

During investigation, police found out that the robbers were in a group and had been conversing in Haryanvi language. Police also received a tip-off that the group had been talking about leaving for Pandharpur. Police said the gang was heading for Pandharpur because a huge crowd would gather at the Vitthal temple on the occasion of Asadi Ekadashi on Monday. “We then alerted the Pune GRP and superintendent of police (Solapur) to keep a watch on the trains and roads leading to Pandharpur,” said Purshottam Karad, deputy commissioner of police (GRP).

On Sunday, officers received information that the Karkam police had arrested seven people travelling in a car with Haryana number plates. The gang then confessed to the chain snatchings in Mumbai and Panvel, police said. “We arrested the seven and found that they had planned to go to Pandharpur but did not know what deity is worshipped there,” said Karad.

The gang confessed that Rita, who had learnt how to carry out chain snatchings from a friend, had taught her family members and relatives, the tactic. “Rita used to board trains and carry out chain snatchings and then pass on the chain to other gang members. After visiting Haji Ali the gang had reached Dadar station through Mahalakshmi station and robbed a chain. They had then reached Panvel and asked for directions for the railway station, where they robbed the other chain before leaving for Pandharpur,” added Karad.

GRP officers presented the accused before the court, which remanded them to police custody till July 27. “We will now find out where the gang made pit stops on their way from Haryana to Mumbai and whether they committed any other robberies there,” said Karad.

First Published: Jul 24, 2018 00:57 IST