February 17, 2021 9:53:32 pm
Two criminals facing action under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) escaped from the custody of Pune Rural Police by breaking the grills of the lock-up cell at Bhor police station in the early hours of Wednesday.
Police said the duo, identified as Chandrakant Lakshman Lokhande of Phaltan and Pravin Prahla Raut of Indapur, were among those who had opened fire and looted ornaments worth Rs 17.32 lakh from Balaji Jewelers at Kapurhol village in Bhor, in broad daylight, in August last year.
Following massive searches, the local crime branch team led by Senior Police Inspector Padmakar Ghanwat had arrested Lokhande on November 25 along with his aide Shyam Mule. Later, police arrested four more persons including Pravin Raut after further investigation. Raut was arrested from Wadale area after an encounter in which his aides had even opened fire at the police team.
Police probe revealed that the gang led by Chandrakant Lokhande was involved in at least 14 crimes in different parts of Pune district. “In February, sections of MCOCA were invoked against the accused, including Lokhande and Raut,” said senior inspector Ghanwat.
A few days earlier, they were taken into custody of Rajgad police station for investigation of a robbery case. They were kept in a police lock-up in Bhor, but managed to escape after breaking window grills of the lock-up in the early hours of Wednesday. The CCTV camera at the Bhor police station was not functional.
Around 6 am, police personnel on duty at the lock-up found that the duo have escaped. Soon, search teams were formed and dispatched to different locations.
Police said search is on for the two men and anybody having information about their location should pass it on to the LCB or Bhor police station. Police have assured to maintain secrecy about the informer.
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