2 women accomplices of drug don Lalit Patil sent to police custody till Oct 23 (Ld)


The accused — Pragya A. Kamble and Archana K. Nikam — were nabbed on the night of Wednesday-Thursday, from Nashik where a Pune Police team swooped after Patil’s arrest by Mumbai Police near Chennai on Tuesday.

The women were nabbed from their homes last night and brought to Pune, where they were produced before a Magistrate Court for remand this afternoon.

The Police Prosecutor sought seven days’ custody for Kamble and Nikam, but the Magistrate granted only four days till Monday – the day when Patil’s custody with Mumbai Police will end.

Kamble and Nikam, labelled as “girlfriends” of Patil, reportedly kept his ill-gained wealth in their safe custody including cash, silver and gold jewellery, said the investigators.

The Pune Police have also recovered certain photographs of Patil seen with some women while in the jail, though officials have refused to comment on it.

Incidentally, the Pune Police faced severe criticism after the alleged ‘escape’ of Patil from the Sassoon Hospital here on October 2.

Thereafter, he was on the run in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for 15 days before landing in the Mumbai Police’s net early on Wednesday, and he has claimed that he did not escape but was allegedly ‘abducted’ and also apprehended danger to his life from the Pune Police.

A police officer told mediapersons that as per preliminary information, the two Nashik-based women were in constant touch with Patil during his cross-country drive dodging Mumbai and Pune police teams hot on his pursuit.

While on the run for two weeks, Patil, a widower, even spent a day with Archana Nikam, and then took Rs 25 lakh cash from both the women for his on-road expenses.

Later, he zoomed from Pune to Nashik to Dhule to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar via the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway, then entered Surat in Gujarat, from there to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

En route, Patil was helped by a network of his narcotics mafia contacts, and the police said they will track and probe them in the case which has triggered a huge political row in the state.




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