Delhi cops pose as election officers to nab unsuspecting fugitive from Mumbai slum

The crime dates back to 2013 when Mohammed Mushtaq and two of his friends had an altercation with a man at a tea shop in Delhi.
Image used for representational purposes
Image used for representational purposes

NEW DELHI: The long arm of the law finally caught up with a convicted criminal who had jumped bail and was evading the police for three years. After narrowing the man down to a densely populated slum area in Mumbai, the cops were faced with the task of carrying out a discreet search without raising an alarm. But first the backstory.

The crime dates back to 2013 when Mohammed Mushtaq and two of his friends had an altercation with a man at a tea shop in Delhi. The next day, Mushtaq along with his accomplices went to the man's house.

The father of the man told the cops that moments later he heard a loud thud. He immediately rushed out of his house and saw his son lying on the road in a pool of blood. Mushtaq had committed a brutal murder by pushing him off the fifth floor of the building.

A case was lodged, Mushtaq was arrested and after years of trial, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. In May 2021, when India was grappling with the second wave of COVID, he was released on emergency parole for 90 days. But he never returned and became a fugitive.

However, in keeping with the old saying, "The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small", justice would not be denied even if it took time.

Sub Inspector Ritesh Kumar of the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police received a tip-off on April 6 that Mushtaq was living in Mumbai. A police team was constitued and dispatched to Mumbai.

But there was a problem. While the police had information that Mushtaq was residing in the Govandi area of Mumbai, they did not know his address. Carrying out searches in police uniform would have attracted attention, allowing the criminal to escape.

With the election process in full swing, the cops had a brainwave. "The team acted as election officers and went door to door asking people whether they want to make a voter card," DCP (Crime) Amit Goel said.

After searching more than 500 houses, the cops finally reached a house where they saw a man who looked like Mushtaq. But they were still uncertain. "He had shaved his beard and moustache to hide his identity," the officer said. Once his identity was confirmed, the police immediately swung into action and nabbed Mushtaq.

During interrogation, the convict disclosed that after he was released on emergency parole, he went to his village and got married. As he was not having any source of income there and the police were also looking for him, he went to Mumbai and started working in an embroidery go-down in Govandi.

The official said the convict is being produced before the jail authorities.

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