A man who managed to elude the police for 29 long years was finally nabbed on Friday, all thanks to a spot of bother on his neck - a birthmark. Back in 1983, the police had arrested Rameshsingh Cheddisingh Thakur for robbing eight petrol pumps in Mumbai. Thakur however slipped through their fingers after attacking the escort team with chilli powder, when he was being taken from Arthur Road jail to a local court.
He then went off the radar. A Crime Branch team started investigating the case, often facing flak from the courts for their inability to recapture the man who had given them the slip.
The breakthrough came on Friday, when unit 10 of the Crime Branch received a tip-off that Thakur was a resident of Dalpatpur near Benaras in Uttar Pradesh. Members of Unit 10 immediately left for the spot, under orders from the Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Himanshu Roy.
When they knocked on the robber's suspected residence, a man answered the door and identified himself as Tribhuvansingh Thakur, insisting that he was a local farmer, with land to prove it.
"When we questioned him, he said that he was Tribhuvansingh and insisted that he was a local farmer, who had been staying in Uttar Pradesh for many years, and that he also had farmland to prove it," said Rauf Shaikh, assistant police inspector of Unit 10.
Confused by Thakur's claims, the cops reverted to their Mumbai office, asking for means of identifying the robber. "From the Mumbai office, we learnt that the accused has a mole on his neck. When we checked with the so-called Tribhuvansingh, it was there, and so we managed to confirm his identity. After interrogating him and his neighbours we learnt that he that he had been staying in the area for the past 20 years," said Shaikh.
Having fled from Mumbai in 1983, Thakur settled in Uttar Pradesh. He stayed with a local BJP MP, who later gifted him farmland, which gave Thakur a means of sustenance.