KOCHI: The City police team probing the break-ins at Tripunithura and Pulleppady are now engaged in efforts to find out whether the 11-member burglars' gang had indeed received any local support. Officers said they believe the outlaws had received assistance from some persons having links with the area who had purportedly provided the gang with sketches on the layout of the houses which were targeted. Hence, an investigation is on in this direction and details of strangers and suspicious characters who visited the area in the last two months are being collected.
Meanwhile, after getting wind the remaining eight members of the gang had fled to Bangladesh, a Kerala Police team is camping at the Indo- Bangla border to nab the accused including the gang's kingpin. Earlier on Wednesday, the sleuths arrested three persons - Arshad,20, the mastermind behind the operation, his aide Roni,18, both hailing from West Bengal, and Shehzad,30, a Bihar native. Various Central agencies, including the Delhi Police, are providing assistance to the Kerala Police team in its ongoing search operations.
A three-week long inquiry helped the police team to nab Arshad. The arrested will be brought to Kochi on Sunday. Officers said the team will return here with the accused after producing them before a New Delhi court. Arshad was arrested from his residence at Housing Colony in Dilshad Garden, New Delhi early on Wednesday. Based on the information provided by Arshad, Shehshad and Roni were apprehended. Creditably, the City police managed to make the first arrest in the case in less than a month after the outlaws struck at Pulleppady on December 15 and Hill Palace, Tripunithura the following day.