Mumbai cops crack Jain temple robbery case
According to Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy, officers of the Mumbai Crime Branch have recorded 100 per cent recovery of all the valuables, including crowns, idols, and umbrellas worth Rs 4 lakhs that were stolen from Chandra Prabhu Nandeshwar Deep Digambar Jain temple in Borivli, a distant north Mumbai suburb, on August 22.
Talking to mediapersons on Friday, Roy specifically mentioned the names of Police Inspector Feroz Patel and Police Naik Ramdas Metar for cracking the robbery that took place on the intervening night of August 22 and 23.
The names of those arrested in the case are as follows: Haroon Abdul Sheikh, 40, Ramesh Mohan Patil alias Bhai Jaan, 40, Santosh Harishchandra Bhoir, Rajguru Murari Singh alias Raju Punjabi, Suresh Ranjendra Gupta, 18, Vinod Kumar Jagdish Prasad Yadav, 22, Michael Maniast Thapa alias Vicky, 26, and Mukesh Kumar Jagdish Prasad Yadav, 18.
Interestingly, the JCP said, the crime was in the works since 2005, when the temple was opened.
All the arrested people belong to the same area, and Haroon and Bhai jaan masterminded the plot, he noted. This was the gang's biggest heist till date, he added.
Earlier they were involved in petty crimes, he also said.
What attracted the masterminds was the hype with which the temple was inaugurated in 2005, when flowers, money and jewelry was showered on the temple dome from a helicopter, Roy said.
While four of them were arrested from Goregaon, the rest were nabbed from Ghanasoli, a small town near Bhiwandi, Roy added.
Text and video: Prasanna D Zore in Mumbai