Six days after the daylight robbery in Lucknow’s VIP area, prime accused 38-year-old Vineet Kumar Tiwari and his brother-in-law Kavindra Pandey was arrested on Sunday from Rae Bareili. Pandey is accused of providing shelter to Tiwari. The prime accused’s wife, too, has been taken into custody, Inspector General (Lucknow range) Sujeet Pandey said.
On Monday, Vineet Kumar Tiwari, 38, had allegedly shot dead the security guard of a cash van, injured its custodian and made away with at least Rs 6 lakh in cash from outside a bank in Hazratganj area, just a few metres away from Raj Bhawan and the CM residence.
“Out of around Rs 6.44 lakh stolen from the van, Rs 4,73,900 has been recovered. Tiwari has claimed to have spent the rest of the amount. The police have also found the number plate of his motorcycle, a bag and the gun used in the robbery,” Abhay Kumar Mishra, Hazratganj circle officer (CO), said.
“After we identified the accused, we immediately sent police teams to all the places he could have been to. Following a tip-off, we arrested him from Lalganj Velhata area of Rae Bareily,” said Pandey.
Giving details about the robbery, the CO said, “Tiwari used to run a small food stall near Manaknagar and Nahariya area. He had been planning the robbery for the past three to four days. He has told us that he didn’t intend to loot the cash van. Instead he thought of looting a bank customer.”
“On the day of the incident, when Tiwari was waiting outside the bank looking for ‘his target’, the cash van’s driver Ram Sevak walked up to him and started talking to him. In the meantime it started raining. The driver casually told Tiwari that he would have offered him shelter inside the van, but couldn’t as there was cash inside. He then attempted to go to the bathroom when Tiwari took out his gun,” Mishra said.
“During interrogation Tiwari told the police that he was forced to retaliate after the gunman, Indra Mohan, shot at him,” the CO said. Mohan died on the way to hospital.
After committing the crime, he roamed across different localities of Lucknow and then hid himself in his brother-in-law’s house in Rae Bareily, Pandey said. The IG had announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for information about the accused. With Tiwari in the police net, the reward would now be distributed among all the eight police teams who worked on the case.
(With PTI inputs)