Alert tea vendor helps cops crack city’s biggest heist case
Shukla, who was working with the Security and the Intelligence Services (SIS) for the past four months, was unhappy with the management.
They have hired him with a salary of Rs 15,000 but they used to pay him only Rs 9,000 per month. Despite several complaints made to the management, he was not paid properly.
In mid November, when he got the salary, he thought that one day he will definitely run away with the cash van to take a revenge of all the harassment.
On Thursday, SIS had sent four cash transit vans — with a total cash of around Rs 38 crore — from
their Vikaspuri branch in the day and the van that headed towards South-east Delhi was carrying around Rs 22.5 crore.
“During that point in time, Shukla was neither aware about the amount loaded in the van nor was he driving nor had any plans to run away with the cash. But the situation gave him a chance to speed away as the gunman, identified as Vinay Kumar, got off the van to attend nature’s call. Taking advantage of the situation, he fled away,” a police official said quoting Shukla’s confessional statement.
When a call was received by the police, a man-hunt was on and raids were conducted. A team reached his house in Okhla and his wife told the police that Pradeep came home for sometime and told their children that they will move to their village on Friday. “He also instructed us to pack our bags,” she said.
Meanwhile, a police official questioned a tea vendor about Shukla after showing his photograph. Within fraction of a second he said: “Yes! He came to my stall and had tea. He was talking over phone and telling someone that he will return to the godown within few minutes. I asked him to pay Rs 7 for a cup of tea but he gave me Rs 500 and did not take the balance. I was looking for the change but noticed that he has already left. I was very happy to get Rs 500 for a cup of tea,” the vendor told the cops.
“With the help of telecom companies whose towers have been installed near the area, the mobile number of the person whom Shukla had called was traced. Ram Surat, a security guard in a godown in Okhla, was identified by the police who was known to Shukla because of his wife who used to earlier work in front of that godown. A raid was conducted at around 3.30 am on Friday where Shukla was found sleeping with nine cash boxes,” the official added.
During interrogation, he confessed his involvement and told the police that he had spent Rs 11,000 on himself and bought clothes, ate chicken and had alcohol at a good restaurant in South-East Delhi. “He was planning to leave Delhi with his family to live a lavish life,” the official said.