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Nashik arms haul: Escaped gang member may have reached Mumbai with share of weapons

Accused who parted ways with gang in UP may have taken train to Maharashtra carrying portion of the loot

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2017 23:56 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
Nashik arms haul,weapons,stolen Bolero
The gang stole pistols, revolvers, rifles and double-barrel guns from an Uttar Pradesh shop, which had a government contract to collect firearms from people before elections.(HT)

The Nashik police and Uttar Pradesh special task force (STF) officials suspect that some of the guns from the cache that was stolen may have reached Maharashtra and even Mumbai via train.

Police are on the hunt for two accomplices, who they suspect entered the state using a different mode of transportation.

Three people, including two Mumbai residents, had robbed an arms shop in Uttar Pradesh and were arrested in Nashik on Friday. Officials said they have recovered 44 of 48 guns stolen. They said five people were seen in a stolen Bolero at Pillikothi in UP’s Banda district at the time of the robbery. They had tied up a watchman before robbing a company called Punjab Armoury.

The gang stole pistols, revolvers, rifles and double-barrel guns from the shop, which had a government contract to collect firearms from people before elections. The Nashik police seized 4,136 live cartridges from Salman Ammanulla Khan, 19; Badudin Juman Badshah alias Sumit alias Suka, 27; and Nagesh Bansode, 23.

The STF and local crime branch officers said one of the accused had alighted from the Bolero carrying some of the arms. They suspect he left for Maharashtra via train while the other four continued their journey to Mumbai via Kanpur.

The accused had stopped at a petrol pump near Malegaon to refuel the vehicle at 7.15pm on Thursday. “The petrol pump owner told us the vehicle had four passengers. However, when we intercepted the vehicle, there were just three passengers. The fourth passenger might have alighted at Malegaon,” said Ashok Karpe, senior police inspector, local crime branch, Nashik Rural.

The LCB had sent a team to Malegaon on Saturday evening to retrieve CCTV camera footage of the petrol pump to find out more about the fourth passenger. Police have also begun collating Salman’s and Suka’s call data records to find out if they were in contact with the two other suspects and the mastermind behind the robbery.

The STF officers are also looking for information about the accused who alighted first.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 23:56 IST