Ahmedabad: It is interesting that the police have not slept ever since the gold first went missing on Wednesday night. First, this was because they were searching for the missing gold parcel but now it is because they are worried about keeping the recovered gold safe.
The Naranpura police on Saturday arrested nine people in connection with 1 kg of gold that is still missing from a parcel of 25 kg gold. The arrested include Ashwin Shukla, owner of a garage, who had voluntarily returned 23 kg gold to cops telling them about the parcel that had fallen off a van.
AS Joshi, PSI, Naranpura police station, on Saturday morning, also registered a case against the nine people accusing them of theft and for helping someone conceal the truth. Police said that the accused may be put to a lie-detector test to find out the truth about the missing gold.
Arrested include Shukla, his partner Mukesh Prajapati, Kanhaiyalal Prajapati, Pankaj Nathbava, Naresh Prajapati, Prahlad Prajapati, Asif Qureshi (all workers at the garage), Alpesh Patel (painter) and Kishore Parghi (auto-driver).
The case concerns the 25 kg parcel containing gold bars that fell out of an autorickshaw on Wednesday evening. The workers of Shukla’s garage used to hang out near Vardan Tower in Naranpura where the incident occurred. Qureshi and Patel were there when the parcel fell off the van.
Parghi, who was sitting in his auto-rickshaw at the time, saw Qureshi pick up the parcel. He followed them as they carried the parcel to the garage. Parghi and Patel opened the parcel in the presence of other workers and were shocked to see so many gold bars in it.
Police said that the workers had decided to divide the gold in 9 equal parts and keep it with themselves, but Shukla, the owner of the garage, asked them to wait for a day.
The next day, however, the news about the missing gold worth Rs 8 crore was in all the papers. Fearing arrest, Shukla voluntarily informed the police about the parcel in his possession and the police were able to recover 23 kg gold from the garage. Later, 1 gold bar was recovered from the home of the worker, Asif Qureshi. But 1 kg gold bar is still missing.
The police gave the accused a chance to own up and surrender the missing gold bar but Shukla insists that they have given the police all the gold they had in their possession. Following this, the police registered a case against them.
Sources in the police said that Parghi has been acting like an informer and was trying to keep in touch with the developments in the case. For this reason, the police have become suspicious of Parghi’s role. Investigation to trace the 1 kg missing gold is going on, the police said.