Drug case accused who escaped from Pune hospital arrested; remanded to police custody till Oct 23

 Lalit Patil, a drug case accused who escaped from a hospital in Maharashtra’s Pune city earlier this month, has been arrested near Bengaluru by the Mumbai Police, a senior official on Wednesday.

Patil, an inmate of the Yerawada Jail in Pune, was apprehended on Tuesday night by a team of Mumbai’s Sakinaka police, he said.

“A Mumbai Police team nabbed Lalit Patil from a hotel between Bengaluru and Chennai,” the official said.

He escaped from the government-run Sassoon General Hospital in Pune on October 2 when he was taken for an X-ray.

Patil was wanted in a multi-crore mephedrone seizure case, busted by the Sakinaka police after raiding a factory in Nashik, the official said.

He is the15th accused arrested in this case, he said.

The Mumbai police on October 6 said they had seized 151 kg of mephedrone worth Rs 300 crore and arrested various persons from different cities in an operation that last two months, including raid at a drug manufacturing unit in Nashik.

Following arrest, Patil was on Wednesday produced before a magistrate court in Andheri which remanded him in police custody till October 23.

The police sought Patil’s custody saying the accused arrested earlier in the case had revealed his name. Patil was arrested based on suspicious call data records that the police recovered and further probe was required into it, they said.

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On September 30, the Pune city police arrested a man from outside the Sassoon General Hospital with mephedrone worth Rs 2 crore.

A probe led to the arrest of a hospital canteen staffer who revealed the contraband was supplied by Lalit Patil, the Yerawada Jail inmate admitted in the hospital at the time.

Patil, however, escaped from the hospital on October 2 when he was being taken for X-ray imaging, leading to the suspension of nine police personnel.

On October 10, the Pune police arrested Lalit Patil’s brother Bhushan Patil and his associate Abhishek Balkawade from the Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh in the mephedrone seizure case, officials earlier said.

The Maharashtra government had set up a four-member committee to conduct an inquiry into the escape of Lalit Patil from the hospital.

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