2 thieves jump off building’s 7th floor, die

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MUMBAI: Two suspected thieves jumped off the seventh floor of a Goregaon building early on Tuesday, when they panicked on noticing that a few residents had almost caught up with them. The duo was killed on the spot, after one of them landed on a motorcycle and the other hit the ground. The Goregaon police are now trying to verify if the deceased, Raghuvansh Bhagat and Sufiyan Khan, both 20, had a past criminal record.

Bhagat and Khan used to reside at the Bhagat Singh Nagar slums in Goregaon. Police suspect the two men were involved in petty theft. Bhagat’s brother resides at Ram Mandir in the vicinity of Asmi Complex, where the duo struck before daybreak on Tuesday.

“Around 3.30am, Bhagat and Khan were moving around building R2 of Asmi Complex, trying to zero in on a target. Hardware professional Pradeep Potdar, who resides in the adjacent building R3, noticed them. Potdar suspected that the duo was up to no good as they were carrying a gunny bag on their back. He shouted out at them but they did not respond,” said a senior police official.

The commotion woke up Potdar’s neighbours and alerted the society watchman, Om Prakash Yadav. Potdar then got dressed and started to gather his friends. Meanwhile, Bhagat and Khan had reached the seventh floor of the R2 building. They latched the doors of all the flats from outside to prevent their occupants from stepping out. They then slid open the window of a flat 709, occupied by a film industry lightman, Laxman Naidu, and stole a cellphone which was charging on the kitchen platform.

In his statement to the police, Naidu said he woke up on hearing commotion outside his flat. From his window, he saw one of the thieves standing guard outside his door and soon realized that his phone had been stolen. As Naidu couldn’t step out of the door, he opened his window and squeezed himself out. By then, Potdar and five of his friends had reached the seventh floor and started shouting at Bhagat and Khan.

“On realizing that they were cornered and scared of being thrashed, Bhagat and Khan climbed on to the ledge, leaping off one after the other in different directions. Bhagat landed on the motorcycle and broke his jaw. Khan landed on the ground. The bodies were found by the watchman who had just finished calling up the police control room,” said an official.

The Goregaon police conducted an inquest panchnama before recording two accidental deaths. The deceased were identified by their families.

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