Two shops were original targets; one shop saved due to argument over removal of footwear
Mysore/Mysuru: Two more persons including the mastermind of the Vidyaranyapuram jewellery shop dacoity and shootout case have been arrested by the City Police. The shootout incident on Aug. 23 had sent shockwaves across the city as this was the first time that a case of such a magnitude had occurred in Mysuru.
Already six arrests (now eight) have been made in connection with the dacoity. Police sources said that one of the accused was arrested from a village bordering India and Pakistan. He was nabbed from a village in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir which is just 10 kms away from the Line of Control (LoC).
The mastermind of the crime is a Mysurean and he owns a jewellery shop at Mahadevapura and traded gold and silver. He fed the information to the gangsters — contract killers from North India — about Amruth Gold and Silver Palace at Vidyaranyapuram. The mastermind, Mahendra, who owns Balaji Bankers and Jewellers near Mahadevapura Railway Gate, has now been arrested.
Though senior Police officers did not confirm the role of the mastermind and his arrest, inside sources told Star of Mysore that Mahendra was involved as business rivalry played a major role in the crime.
Police sources said that professional and business rivalry led Mahendra to invite gangsters to loot the Vidyaranyapuram shop and he gave intricate details about the shop, the type of ornaments available, its location, its owner and the staff so that the crime could be perfectly executed.
The accused had come to Mysuru a month back and were in touch with Mahendra and they had identified two shops for robbery and finally, the Vidyaranyapuram shop was chosen as the target as the rivalry between Mahendra and the shop owner Dharmendra ran deep.
Mahendra was nabbed based on his Call Record Details (CDR), its proximity to the crime scene and also the traces of conversation with the gangsters who planned and committed the heist. Mahendra was earlier involved in a cheating case and his records were safe with the Police teams and as soon as his photo emerged from the records, it was easy for the Police to make the arrest, sources said.
Altercation over footwear
A day before the crime, on Aug. 22, all the accused came to Mysuru and spent time roaming around bus stands and Railway Stations. After meticulously planning, they did a recce of the targeted shop hours before the crime and landed at the shop at around 5 pm one by one for the loot.
Interestingly, before the Vidyaranyapuram shop was zeroed in as the final target, the accused had entered another shop in the same Vidyaranyapuram locality as it was their first target. But the shop owner asked the accused, who came in the guise of customers, to remove their footwear before entering the shop. This led to verbal altercation between the shop owner and the dacoits, forcing the latter to shelve their plan of looting that particular shop, sources added.
Autorickshaw, getaway vehicle
Sources said that along with Mahendra, the other accused have been arrested from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Mumbai, Jammu & Kashmir and the Police teams have travelled eight States to make the arrest as the accused were on the run. Soon after the crime, the accused took an auto rickshaw to the City Railway Station and escaped to Bengaluru.
In Bengaluru, they managed to share the loot and branch out to different destinations. The accused have been identified as Batti, Chandian, Thousif, Vijay, Madan Singh and Maskan. Mahendra is another accused and one more culprit 55-year-old Budda from Mumbai, who has a criminal record, is absconding. All the arrested accused have been remanded to 12-day Police custody.