MUMBAI: A gang of six armed dacoits, who had planned to allegedly rob a shrimp farm in Kelwe, Palghar district, was arrested by the police in the wee hours of Sunday.
Acting on a tip-off that the gang would get active ahead of the ‘Gatari Amavasya’ on Sunday, when people feast on fish, chicken and mutton, before the commencement of the month long Shravan fast, different teams from Kelwe police, in plainclothes were posted in and around Kelwe and Palghar. At around 2.30 on Sunday, police intercepted one Mahendra Bhoir (35) on the Tembikhodave road in Palghar. He had few live cartridges with him.
He led the Kelwe police to an old jetty in Tembikhodave village in Palghar where his six accomplices were waiting. Police managed to nab five of them, while one fled. The accused, Bhoir, Balu Patil (29), Shivdas Patil (36), Dinesh Patil (45), Dahesh Gawad (32), Nitin Patil (35) are residents of Tembikhodave village. Police said that they were planning to rob some shrimp farm to feast on the Gatari festival.
Last month, Palghar district Superintendent of Police had suspended a cop from Kelwe police for not taking cognisance of the spate of prawns theft. The shrimp farmers had approached the senior officer with their complaints. They had told the police that armed men assaulted their security guards and fled with fish worth lakhs.
The accused men have been booked under IPC sections 399 (making preparation to commit dacoity), 420 (cheating) and sections of the Arms Act. A country made pistol and some live cartridges were seized from them. Their role in the spate of thefts in shrimp farms is being investigated.