Mumbai

GRP arrests serial robber who killed woman on train in 2018

Accused used to target lone women passengers; 95% stolen valuables recovered

A serial offender who murdered a woman on board a mail express train between Borivali and Dadar in December 2018 was arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP). The accused, identified as Mohammad Aslam Shaikh (47), has also been charged with robbing two women in November and December 2019.

Ravindra Sengavkar, Commissioner, Mumbai GRP, said the accused had set a pattern where he would target women’s compartments of long-distance passenger trains where there was only one passenger. “He would climb onto the train just as it was leaving the platform and then rob the woman. He would alight as the train was approaching a platform or if the train slowed down in the middle,” he said.

GRP officials said using the description given by the two victims of the robberies in 2019, they laid a trap near Dadar station. “The accused used to board the train in Borivali, where trains would usually empty out. Since they were mail express trains, the next stop would either be Dadar or Mumbai Central,” a GRP official said.

The accused was taken into custody on January 1 and questioned. He confessed to the robberies in November and December 2019 and then on further questioning, he confessed to the murder of Deriya Devi Chowdhary (40) in December 2018. “According to his statement, the victim slapped him while resisting his attempt to rob her, after which he stabbed her with his knife,” a GRP official said.

Mr. Sengavkar said since his arrest they have recovered nearly 95% of the goods he had stolen from victims, which include mobile phones and gold chains. He said they were planning to also arrest his friend Shakeel Khan and his mother Salma Shaikh in connection with the crimes.

A resident of Kalwa, Mr. Shaikh used to live with his mother and had been sent to jail for targeting women in long-distance passenger trains. “He was charged with robbing women by the Dadar GRP and was sent to jail for nine years in 2010. The sentence was later commuted and he was released in August 2018 from Kolhapur jail,” a GRP official said.

While there was CCTV footage of the accused, GRP officials said, in most of them he wore a cap making it difficult to recognise the person. “We found that he was also carrying a bag in a particular fashion. He used to portray himself as a ragpicker to evade suspicion,” a GRP official said.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 8:52:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/grp-arrests-serial-robber-who-killed-woman-on-train-in-2018/article30498589.ece

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