Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A mole on nose helped police catch a murderer

They say truth is stranger than fiction. And this one no less than an eventful Shakespearean one. Read on. I got the story in Mumbai Mirror.

A mole on the nose of the key accused in the murder of 70-year-old Neeruben Patel in Juhu last Sunday was all the information the Mumbai police had when they set out to nab him. But the tiny detail was more that enough for the Central Intelligence Unit of the crime branch who nabbed Sanjay Mirdha alias Sanju on Wednesday while he was on his way to his hometown in UP on the Mumbai-Howrah Express.

In fact, when the police had fanned out in search of Sanju, the only information they had on hand was that he was headed for his native village near Parasnath in UP and that he could be identified by a prominent black mole on the right side of his nose. The police had gathered this information while interrogating the three other accused. The police neither knew his full name nor his address. So they decided that the only way to catch him was while he tried to leave for Parasnath.

The police found out that the Mumbai-Howrah Express, which leaves Mumbai every evening also goes to Parasnath via Allahabad. However, by the time the police got this information the May 4 Mumbai-Howrah Express had already left. The team led by sub-inspector Ajay Sawant then decided to fly to Allahabad and intercept the train there the next day.

The team accordingly reached Allahabad station and started checking its general category bogies. Sawant said, "I had an inkling that he would not take a sleeper class ticket considering his background. So we started checking all general compartments for a man with a black spot on his nose."

When their search yielded nothing, the team waited for the Tuesday and Wednesday trains. They hit pay dirt on Wednesday when Sawant spotted a man with a black spot on his nose. However, Sawant was not sure if he had got his man. So he walked into the compartment and shouted, “Sanju!” The accused immediately looked up. "As soon as he responded to the call, I knew it was him," Sawant said. The police immediately caught him and alighted at the next station. When the police interrogated him, he confessed and was arrested immediately.


Seventy-year-old Neeruben Patel was strangled to death by four men who ransacked her house in Dev Park Society in Juhu on May 4. Three of the four accused were Patel's servants. As the Patels had never furnished any details of their servants to the police, the police had no leads in the case. Thankfully, the police got sketchy details of the other accused from the servant Sameer. The other two accused are identified as Ramprakash Yadav, caught from Navjivan Society in Mumbai Central and Kushal Arya, caught from Rajasthan.

The Crime Branch team goes to Allahabad in UP and searches all the Mumbai-Howrah Express trains coming in. They know the accused, Sanjay Mirdha, would be taking the train to escape to his hometown in Parasnath in UP

After thoroughly searching all the Mumbai-Howrah trains over two days, on Wednesday the cops finally find a person with a mole on the right side of his nose

However, the cops were not sure they had the right man so they went into the compartment and shouted out the name of the accused. When he turned around at the sound of his name, the police knew they had their man

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