A drive to catch robbers operating on railway tracks has helped Mumbai crime branch solve a nearly two-year-old case lodged after a 22-year-old man had gone missing from Mumbra in 2017.
According to police, Rashid Sayyad, who had gone missing mysteriously in August 2017, was a member of a gang of mobile thieves operating on trains and was pushed off a moving train by a colleague following an argument over a stolen mobile phone.
“We have arrested a 19-year-old man for murdering Sayyad in August 2017. Sayyad was a part of a gang of mobile thieves operating on trains. The accused had a fallout with Sayyad after he had refused to return a mobile phone they had stolen,” DCP (crime) Akbar Pathan said.
Assistant Police Inspector Hanmant Dhopewad said the accused suspected that Sayyad was having an affair with his mother and was upset with him. “During the argument, the accused pushed Sayyad out of a moving train and he was subsequently run over by it. The accused got off the train when someone pulled the chain. When the accused saw that Sayyad was run over, he fled from the spot,” Dhopewad said.
The Ghoti police, under Nashik (rural) police, had then registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) after the mutilated body was recovered around 150 km away in Igatpuri. Two mobile phones found on the body could not help in identification as both the gadgets had been stolen, API Dhanraj Chaudhary said. He added that the body was classified as unidentified and the case was subsequently closed by the railway police.
Police said, Sayyad’s mother had registered a missing person’s complaint, but there was no breakthrough in the case. Eventually, last week, the crime branch received a tip-off about a gang stealing mobile phones on trains and detained two of its members. “During interrogation, one of the gang members accused the other of committing a murder two years ago. After verifying the details he provided, we found that a body was indeed found near the tracks in August 2017 and an ADR was lodged at Ghoti police station,” an officer said.
The local Ghoti police has converted the ADR into a murder case and the accused has been handed over to them for custodial interrogation, police said.
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