THANE: Thane’s criminal branch investigating the robbery at the BJP rally at Janadesh in Thane on Sunday revealed that the four arrested defendants planned to target more political rallies.
“The accused are Abubaqar alias Abu Kabutar (35), kingpin of the ring, Nadit Ansari (30), Atiq Ahmed (51) Ashpaq Ansari (38), all residents of Malegaon,” said Vikas Ghodke, senior inspector of the unity of the criminal branch. 5.
Police said the defendants systematically planned the heists from the outset by disguising themselves as political agents with the attire, keeping an eye on their target and also guiding their accomplices through the crowds which are in large numbers.
“They would have targeted several other gatherings if they had not been stopped here,” said a policeman.
Abubakr had previously been arrested for the same crime at a Uddhav Thackeray rally in Kalyan, police said.
“Currently, the defendants have been turned over to Kopri police for further investigation and police suspect they may be involved in such similar crimes across the city,” said a police officer.
The four thieves disguised as BJP workers stole several for Rs 1 lakh in cash and several cell phones. They were caught by Unit 5 of the Thane Criminal Branch.
“They were specially driven down so that no one doubts them and use the low cost accommodation to live a day before the rally and blend in with the crowd,” said a policeman.
“Whenever they have the chance, with the help of blades or cutters, they strike on their targets who are busy in the gatherings shouting slogans.
Once they get their hands on the money and enough cell phones, they’re gone, ”said an officer.
The police recovered the money as well as cell phones and the car used in the crime.
Police say the accused got out of Malegaon by car and even stole 1 lakh Rs from personal assistant to Union Minister of State Kapil Patil during the Jan Ashirwad rally held in Thane on Sunday .
Apart from that, even a cameraman had money stolen and several people lost their phones, the policeman informed.