In plain sight: Wanted criminal in Rajasthan found ‘hiding’ as fakir in Gujarat
Mannu Punjabi was spending his days posing as a fakir or a religious ascetic, offering ‘divine’ solutions to people’s ailments at the famous Mira Datar Dargah at Unjha.
A 40-year-old wanted man from Rajasthan, who was on run for eight years and allegedly living in a Muslim shrine in Gujarat’s Mehsana district disguised as a fakir, was arrested by police, officials said on Friday.
The police action came on Wednesday after an informant tipped them off that Mannu Punjabi, a resident of Ajmer, was spending his days posing as a fakir or a religious ascetic, offering ‘divine’ solutions to people’s ailments at the famous Mira Datar Dargah at Unjha.
“Punjabi was wanted for the last eight years in four to five cases pertaining to liquor smuggling and possessing illegal arms. He also had prior cases of assault and loot registered in his name and was absconding,” said Mukesh Yadav, assistant sub inspector at Ajmer’s Alwar Gate police station.
“A team of us went there a couple of days back and after investigation, came to know that Punjabi was living under the alias of Shamsuddin alias Shammi as a fakir in the dargah,” he added.
The team brought a shell-shocked Punjabi out of the holy shrine as surprised devotees looked on.
“Punjabi’s mother lives in Ajmer and he thought that after leaving the city and taking shelter at a dargah in a different state, he has managed to escape the law,” said Yadav.
He was brought to Ajmer on Wednesday and is currently lodged in a jail.