Pune: Crime Branch sleuths have claimed that two autorickshaw drivers who have been arrested for looting two persons from Rajasthan, had earlier robbed several passengers but they had not registered any complaint.
The accused Vikas Shankar Dhotre (35) of Market Yard and Sandip Ramdas Aru (46) of Dhankawadi, were caught by two policemen who were passing by Seven Loves Chowk on Shankarsheth Road on Sunday when the accused were forcefully taking money from two passengers.
The police have recovered Rs 2,500 looted from the two passengers and also seized the autorickshaw.
The complainants, Navratan Nayak and his cousin Kalu, who worked in Kolhapur, were going to their native place in Rajasthan. On Sunday, they had reached Swargate bus stand from Kolhapur in a State Transport (ST) bus around 1.30 pm. They boarded an autorickshaw outside the bus stand for going to Pune railway station, from where they were to board Pune-Jaipur Express at 3 pm.
“After going for some distance, another person boarded the rickshaw. Later, they halted at Seven Loves Chowk and demanded Rs 1,400 fare and asked them to get down. The two passengers protested as they had not reached the railway station. Both the accused persons started assaulting them and forcefully snatched Rs 2,500 from their pockets. They were forcing the two passengers down from the autorickshaw when policemen Amzad Pathan and Ankush Jogdand from Crime Branch Unit 5, who were passing by, saw them and went to their rescue. They took both the accused to Swargate police station where an FIR for offences like robbery, criminal intimidation, insult etc was registered”, DCP (Crime) Pankaj Dahane said.
He added, “Both passengers were talking in Hindi and the accused came to know that they are from outside the State. Later investigation showed that they had committed similar offences in the past but passengers used to be in a hurry and didn’t lodge a FIR, so they will get away. But it was a coincidence that our men saw them and came to their rescue.”
Police officials said that the accused persons have looted people near Swargate and Shivajinagar bus stands beside Pune railway station. The police have appealed to people to approach them if they have been robbed.
The investigation team included Police Inspector Datta Chavan, API Mahadev Waghmode, Yuvraj Nandre, Head Constable Santosh Mohite, Manik Pawar, Laxman Shinde, Pravin Shinde, Rajesh Ransingh, Pradip Surve, Sachin Gholap, Sidhram Koli, and Police Naik Mahesh Waghmare, Pravin Kalbhor, Ganesh Bazare, Namdev Angaz, Pramod Ghadge and Sanjay Dalvi.