JAIPUR: Mount Abu police arrested one accused in the robbery of the seven antique guns from one of the oldest Elizabethan style building Raj Bhawan . The antiques were stolen on March 3 and the accused has been identified as Gula Gameti, a resident of Mandawa in Udaipur . For almost two weeks after the theft, police could not trace any of the four accused though the antique guns were recovered in Mount Abu on March 14.
Praveen Kumar, DSP, Mount Abu told TOI, “We recovered the guns last week which were possibly left there by the accused once the theft was discovered. There are still three remaining who were allegedly involved in the robbery and we have sent teams to various places in Udaipur and even to Gujarat to catch them. Very soon we will have them under arrest as well.”
The building was constructed in 1868 at the cost of Rs 46,305 for the residency of Lt. Col R H Keating, the agent to the attorney general of India. Spread in nine bighas of land, the land was gifted by then ruler of Sirohi. After the partition, Mt Abu went to the Bombay Presidency in 1949 and came back to Rajasthan only in 1956. During this period, the building was in use by patwari under the Panchmahal district. The mansion turned to dilapidated condition and the antiques were stuffed in Almiras. The antiques were gifts given to the agent by various princely states in Rajaputana including these seven antique guns stolen by the robbers.
Since Raj Bhawan is the summer house of the governor of the state, there were no adequate security arrangements. Only three regular staff- a guard, a sweeper and a gardener- are routinely posted here. As the building does not have even CCTV cameras, police had to rely on camera footage from an adjacent hotel behind the Raj Bhawan. These cameras have showed four persons entering the building from its back side and returning with objects that looked like guns in the night through the same path.
According to police officials, the accused had switched off their mobile phones making it difficult to trace them. “Now that we have Gameti in our custody, we are questioning him as well to find out if he knows the whereabouts of the others along with the fact as to how they planned the robbery. At this stage we cannot divulge any more information regarding his arrest since the matter is still under investigation,” added a police official.
Gameti also has few cases of robbery and other criminal acts against him registered in multiple police stations in Udaipur. The police suspect that the rest three who were allegedly involved in the crime are from tribal areas.