History-sheeter held from UP for drugging and robbing passenger on board Pune-Mumbai Shivneri bus

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Mumbai, Jul 10 (PTI) Days after an advertising agency owner was robbed of his valuables allegedly by a fellow passenger, who drugged him by offering a cup of coffee on board a Pune-Mumbai state-run AC bus, police have arrested the accused from Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Wednesday.

The accused, 52-year-old Yunus Shafiquddin Shaikh, was arrested by a team of Matunga police in Mumbai on July 8 from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, an official said.

The incident had occurred on June 14 on board the Pune-Mumbai Shivneri bus operated by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), he said.

"The victim, Shailendra Sathe (57), who owns an advertising and brand agency, had boarded the Shivneri bus from Wakad in Pune to Mumbai. The accused, who was travelling with him in the same bus, befriended him and offered a cup of coffee to him when the bus stopped at a food mall in Khalapur. As Sathe fell unconscious later during the journey, the accused stole his gold ornaments, including a ring, and a mobile phone," the police official said.

After the bus reached Dadar in central Mumbai, the MSRTC staff helped Sathe get down from the bus, he said.

Assuming that he was under the influence of liquor, they left him on a footpath, where he kept lying in an unconscious state for the next several hours, he added.

Later, Sathe narrated the incident on his X handle, "LEFT TO DIE, thrown on a footpath for 18 hours. Hypnotised, Drugged, Robbed & Ignored on a Mumbai-Pune Shivneri Bus in an acutely confused state, Negligence, No concerned authority helped in distress. Found by family, 80 hrs unconscious, treated at Jupiter Hospital Thane." Based on his complaint, a case was registered at Matunga police station on June 20, following which a probe into the case was launched.

Police teams went through the footage of CCTVs installed in the Shivneri bus and at other places, including the Khalapur food mall, Dadar, and the Mumbai Central area, he said.

During the probe, police teams zeroed in on two suspects and received information that they were from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, he added.

A team was then sent to the Guzri Bazar area of Meerut, and after mounting surveillance for three days, Shaikh was apprehended by the Mumbai police.

The police recovered Sathe's 30 grams of gold from Shaikh, who worked as an estate agent in the area, he said.

During the probe, the police found that Shaikh is a history-sheeter and a notorious criminal in Meerut, the official said, adding that serious cases like murder, attempt to murder, and arson were registered against him in the past.

He was also involved in incidents like robbing passengers, spiking their drinks or drugging them during the journey. Similar cases were registered against him in Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Following his arrest, he was produced before a local court and was brought to Mumbai on transit remand, the official said.

Police are looking for an accomplice of Shaikh, he said. PTI DC NP

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