For stealing underground copper wire, gang digs up footpath in Mumbai; six held

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

Mumbai, Jun 11 (PTI) Digging up roads for infrastructure projects and pre-monsoon works is a common feature in Mumbai and residents of Dadar and neighbouring areas thought the same when they noticed some people carrying out excavation work.

However, it emerged later that a group of five men were not working for the civic body or any other agency, but they were a gang of thieves involved in stealing the copper wire from utility cables.

Police have arrested six men in connection with the theft of copper wires, valued at Rs 6 lakh to 7 lakh, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident came to light last week, when Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) officers approached Matunga police station.

According to police, the footpath along the Dadar-Matunga Road in central Mumbai was dug up to carry out the theft.

Following the complaint, a case was registered against unknown individuals. As part of the investigation, police reviewed CCTV footage from the area and identified a group of thieves involved in the act.

Concurrently, another police team traced the purchaser of the stolen copper wire and detained Niku Chunnilal Gupta, a scrap dealer.

As per the investigations, the accused burned the cable to strip off its coatings and then melted the copper for resale. During interrogation, Gupta disclosed the involvement of Manish Jain, who, along with four others, executed the theft by digging up the footpath, a police official said.

Subsequently, Mumbai Police arrested four individuals residing in the western suburbs and Thane area.

As excavation work by the civic body or other agencies is a common occurrence in the city, the theft didn't come to light initially, the official added.

MTNL officials filed the complaint after noticing hundreds of telephone lines in the Dadar-Matunga area were non-functional, and over a hundred meters of copper wire had been stolen.

The stolen copper wire, valued at Rs 6 to 7 lakh, was recovered from the suspects.

With these arrests, police have busted a gang responsible for digging up roads and footpaths to steal utility cables, the official said.

Further investigations are underway. PTI DC NSK