Ranaghat, Aug. 30: Even after 24 hours of the desperate daylight robbery at the Senco Gold’s Ranaghat branch, at least three gang members, who are suspected to have fled with the major part of the booty remained elusive.
The gross amount of jewelry items that the Bihar-based gang had decamped with was worth over Rupees ten crores. Ranaghat police, however, could so far recover items worth only around Rupees 90 lakhs apart from Rupees 3.70 lakhs in cash, and arrested five of the eight gang members.
Superintendent of Ranaghat police district K. Kannan said, “We have got some leads and are quite hopeful to arrest the entire gang….”
A preliminary probe has revealed that the eight-member gang actually hailed from Vaishali in Bihar, who arrived three weeks ago in Kalyani and stayed at two rented houses in the Neemtala area (B5 block) of the town introducing themselves as laborers. Police have detained the house owner for interrogation.
Police have started a probe on the basis of a complaint lodged by Kaustabh Dutta, store manager of the Ranaghat unit of Senco Gold.
Five of the three arrested robbers were produced before the ACJM court in Ranaghat on Wednesday, and are ordered fourteen day’s police custody. They were charged with dacoity, using a deadly weapon during dacoity, and for murder attempt, said assistant public prosecutor of Ranaghat court Pradip Kumar Pramanik.
Two other arrested robbers, however, could not be produced before the court since they are under treatment at the Ranaghat sub-divisional hospital for the bullet injuries they suffered during the cross-firing with cops while trying to flee.
Ranaghat police sources said that the five robbers arrested in connection with the Senco Gold incident are identified as Kundan Singh, Raju Kumar Paswan, Rikki Paswan, Manikant Kumar Yadav, and Chottu Kumar Paswan. Manikant and Chottu suffered bullet injuries during the crossfire with police and are now admitted to the Ranaghat subdivisional hospital.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a team of Purulia police arrived in Ranaghat to examine the identity of the miscreants and to quiz them. They would try to find any missing link with the incident of the robbery that occurred in Purulia town on Tuesday afternoon. “Purulia police have begun interrogation of the three robbers on Wednesday evening…we are all hopeful to get a breakthrough soon from them, a senior police official of Ranaghat PD said.
A team of Madhya Pradesh police from Bhopal also visited the Ranaghat police and checked the identity of the robbers in connection with a similar incident. “But it was not the gang which they have been looking for”, a police officer said.
Meanwhile, employees of the jewelry shop staged a silent demonstration urging police to recover the robbed items so that they could resume sales as early as possible. “The employees are very much attached to the store and suffered a shock yesterday. The robbery gave them a big jolt before the festive season…..so since yesterday they despite the trauma, did not leave the store and today assembled to urge police to help them restore normal service and recover the robbed items”, owner of the franchisee in Ranaghat Tanmoy Sarkar told reporters.