Nagpur: In a major success, cops cracked the sensational Hudkeshwar robbery in which a middle-aged woman was taken hostage at knife point by two goons and her booty worth Rs 2.37 lakh was looted. Shockingly, the nephew of the victim woman has emerged as the mastermind of the robbery. He along with five others including a minor boy have been arrested in the case. However, another accused is reportedly absconding with the gold ornaments. Even though only two accused actually perpetrated the crime others played a tactical role in the heist planning.
The arrested accused have been identified as Hashendra Laxman Khapekar (41), the nephew of the woman and the mastermind, Tony Paunikar (20), Ajay Raju Chapre (18), Somnath Pradeep Khapekar (20), Shubham Venkatesh Umredkar (20), a minor boy (17). The seventh accused named Sonu alias Rohit Prakash Kanoujiya is absconding with the gold ornaments.
The robbery case made headway when Sakkardara police, during the patrol duty, received a tip-off that the mastermind of the crime Hashendra Khapekar frequently visited a Tajbagh-based Paan Thela. Armed with the information, a team of Sakkardara cops zeroed in on Hashendra near Buggewar Square in Tajbagh area and detained him. Initially, the mastermind tried to mislead the cops but with intense interrogation, he confessed his role in the robbery. Within hours, other accused were in police net.
Notably, on Monday night, two unidentified goons barged into the house of a 51-year old woman in Hudkeshwar area, took her hostage and then looted cash and gold ornaments collectively valued at Rs 2.27 lakh at knife point on Monday night. The victim, Shobha Gungaonkar (51), resident of Plot No. 11 ‘C,’ Dubey Nagar in Hudkeshwar police jurisdiction, was alone in her house. Around 8 pm, the two robbers knocked door and asked “Is Rahul (her son) at home.” As soon as Shobha opened the door, the two ruffians forced their entry into her house at knife point and took her hostage immediately. They gagged her mouth and tied her hands with the help of a piece of cloth. After the “job” the two dacoits grabbed the keys of a steel almirah and laid their hands on cash and gold jewellery collectively valued at Rs 2.27 lakh and fled the scene leaving Shobha dumb struck.
According to details, the kingpin Hashendra was well apprised of the situation in his aunty Shobha Gungaonkar’s house. He was also knowing that Shobha was receiving around Rs 40 from an insurance company and he too was eying the money, albeit, with different way. With only mother-son duo staying in the house, Hashendra hatched a robbery plan. He “selected” his Teka-based (Timki) accomplices and worked out a robbery plan for a few days. According to the plan, the two accused Tony Paunikar and Ajay Chapre actually perpetrated the crime with the intention of looting Rs 40 lakh but could lay hands on booty worth Rs 2.37 lakh only.
The success was tasted by a team of Sakkardara police including the DB In-Charge API Dilip Chandan, Head Constables Sanjay Sonavane, Anand Jajurley, Ashish Nandardhane, Rahul Varkhede, Pravin, Nitin under the guidance of DCP Zone-4 G Shridhar. The case is likelt to be handed over to Hudkeshwar police as the incident had occurred in their jurisdiction.