When the long arm of the law fails to rein in crime, the young and the old take it upon themselves to become crime fighters. A day after a Class VII student fought off thieves at Goregaon, a 61-year-old woman thwarted a robbery bid by five men at Wadala on Saturday evening.
Four armed robbers who broke into the second-floor flat of Jayesh Thakkar in Katchi Lohana Building at Wadala were in for a surprise when Uma Ganatra, 61, his aunt and neighbour, walked in with a spare key to confront them.
Ganatra, who lives in a flat on the floor below, didn’t think twice before heading off to Thakkar’s locked flat when she heard noises of the cupboard there being opened around 8.30pm.
“I am the daughter of a freedom fighter and I don’t fear death,” said Ganatra with a hint of pride. “At that moment, I could not think of anything but protecting the flat. Jayesh [Thakkar] is in our hometown on a religious trip.”
Accompanied by a neighbour, 27-year-old Kripa Thakkar, Ganatra walked into the house quietly and turned on the lights with a holler. “One of the boys with a chopper jumped in front of us from nowhere. I immediately pulled Kripa behind, but she sustained a mild cut on her face. The robber then tried to attack me as well, but I rushed forward and tried to nab him. He hit me hard on my right wrist,” said the elderly.
The commotion attracted a crowd. “The horrified robbers tried to escape. While one of them was nabbed right then, two others who fled on a bike were caught at a signal ahead by the neighbours who followed them in a taxi,” said Ganatra.
The 61-year-old, a former member of the local women’s vigilance committee of the police, said while a fifth accomplice, who was waiting below, was also nabbed, Ganatra’s attacker managed to flee.
Suresh Parab, senior inspector of the Matunga police station, was lauded her courage.
The police said the four robbers — Imtiaz Sheikh, Mohammad Ansari, Janardan Kuramtala and Jahangir Sheikh — including the gang leader, have been arrested.
“We are now checking up if the gang has more associates and who gave a tip-off to the robbers about the house being locked,” said Parab.