While transferring a 27-year-old criminal to Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail, two constables from Bhavnagar police station in Gujarat not only lost the criminal, but also gave a wrong account of the incident. The man, who had been arrested for diamond fraud in January, gave a totally different account of his escape, thus exposing the negligence of the police.
On January 31, the two constables filed a complaint with the Kasturba Marg police, Borivli (E), stating that Mahesh Mangukiya escaped while in their custody. “As per the constables’ statement, they stayed at Mangukiya’s relative’s house in Devipada, Borivli, on January 30 as they were running late and that Mangukiya fled the next morning on the pretext of using the public toilet,” an officer from Kasturba Marg police station said.
On February 16, the Dahisar unit of the crime branch caught Mangukiya from Goregaon and handed him over to the Kasturba Marg police.
“During his interrogation, Mangukiya said the constables brought him to the city by train and as hotels in Mumbai would be expensive, they stayed at a lodge in Kashimira. He also specified that he fled from the lodge and not from Borivli,” assistant commissioner of police of the Dahisar division, Sunil Deshmukh said.
“Firstly, the incident never took place within the city limits. And secondly, the constables should not have got off at a place in Thane when the accused was supposed to be brought to the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. Due to their negligence, Mangukiya could escape. To add to this, the constables lodged a false complaint with the Kasturba Marg police,” Deshmukh added.
The constables cooked up the story as they knew they would be pulled up for staying at a lodge outside Mumbai. The Kasturba Marg police have prepared a detailed report of the incident and sent it to the office of superintendent of police in Bhavnagar.
Mangukiya was involved in a diamond cheating case amounting to Rs31 lakh and was arrested in January. Mangukiya and his aide, both diamond trading agents, used to gain the trust of diamond traders and then flee with diamonds worth lakhs of rupees.