A 22-year-old Rajasthan native was arrested in Bhuleshwar Sunday night for allegedly robbing a chemicals supplier of Rs 20,000 at gunpoint.
Police said chemicals supplier Ashok Shah (38) of Mulund had gone to his shop in Chandi Gully,Bhoiwada lane 3,to pick up the collection for the day. He put Rs 20,000 in a travel bag and was passing through the compound of Swaminarayan Building in the lane when Subhash Bishnoi,who was waiting on a motorbike outside the building,accosted him. He allegedly punched Shah in the nose,put a pistol to his head and demanded his bag.
When Shah protested,Bishnoi allegedly hit him on the neck. As he fell to the ground,two other men approached and allegedly began to kick Shah. One of them allegedly put a knife to his neck and threatened to kill him,while the other tugged at his bag.
The three then snatched the bag and began to flee.
Hearing the commotion,Shah aide Sanjay Mehta rushed to his rescue and raised an alarm. As a crowd gathered,Bishnoi allegedly waved the pistol and threatened to shoot. After dispersing the crowd,he also allegedly threatened to shoot shopkeepers in the lane and forced them to down shutters.
Seeing the fleeing crowd,police naiks Uttam Gaikwad and Dattatray Khadtare rushed to the site. Ashok told them the robbers fled towards Chandi Gully, said Rajendra Chavan,senior inspector,V P Road police station.
Police soon found Bishnoi walking around with the pistol and aides and gave a chase.
The officers chased after him for nearly seven minutes through narrow lanes and caught him at the flower market where Chandi Gully opens into Bhuleshwar Road. The pistol was loaded and Bishnoi was about to shoot when the officers nabbed him. We confiscated the country-made .32 caliber pistol and two live rounds. Bishnoi said he purchased it for Rs 25,000 in his native village, Chavan said.
Bishnoi and aides,Dinesh and Prakash Bishnoi,are natives of Arnal village in Sanchore district of Rajasthan and lived in a rented room in Kumbharwada. They were employed as servants in metal works and imitation jewellery shops in Girgaum.
All three have been booked under IPC sections 34 (common intention) and 394 (v oluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery). While Subhash has been remanded in police custody until March 6,his aides are on the run.
The accused used to shuttle between Mumbai and Rajasthan every few months. They waited outside Swaminarayan Building as a lot of traders passed by it in the evenings carrying money, Chavan said.