Four persons, including two teenagers, were arrested on Saturday night in connection with the murder of a regional post office guard in Rajkot during a robbery bid last Wednesday. Acting on a tip-off, city police arrested Deep Khirani (19) and his friend Saddam Kathrotiya (19) from a public toilet near Bhilwas area on Saturday night. Based on their alleged confessions, Rafique Katariya (27) and Md Talab (30) were arrested later from the area. Police said the four were residents of Khatkivas and Bhilwas areas.
Rajkot city police commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot said Khirani was the mastermind. “Khirani worked at a tea stall outside the regional post office near Jubilee Baug. He would often go inside the treasury branch to serve tea and had seen cash being handled there. He started planning the robbery around three months ago,” Gehlot said at a press conference on Sunday. The commissioner said the robbers broke open 16 locks to make their way into the treasury, being guarded Bharatsinh Jadeja (53), in the wee hours of August 9.
Giving details, the commissioner said that the accused had started preparations two days ahead of the incident. “On the intervening night of August 6 and 7, they stole an autorickshaw from near a petrol pump in Bhilwas area. They drove it to gas-welder Mahesh Varu in Bhaktinagar GIDC. The accused lifted an oxygen and an LPG cylinder besides a gas-cutting nozzle from Varu’s cabin.
After this, they abandoned the autorickshaw, and the following night, the accused stole another autorickshaw and drove to the post office. Khirani’s father also runs a gas-welding shop and therefore he knew how to handle the equipment,” he said.