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Boys next door turn robbers

Calcutta, Feb. 24: Two teenagers from affluent families and educated in reputed south Calcutta schools engineered a plot to clean out their neighbour’s apartment which they used to frequent to watch the cricket World Cup, police said today.

A 16-year-old Madhyamik student and his 15-year-old friend have been arrested on charges of engaging a local criminal to loot the apartment in Mandeville Gardens in south Calcutta.

The parents of the Madhyamik student are both doctors while the other boy’s father is a government employee.

Deputy commissioner of police Kuldip Singh said the two boys had asked Arun Das, a local gangster, to rob the apartment and stock the stolen materials in a Tiljala godown.

“One is a Madhyamik examinee from a reputed school while the other is a Class VIII dropout from another well-known school,’’ Singh said.

The officer-in-charge of Gariahat police station, Tapas Basu, said three young professionals stayed as paying guests in the first-floor apartment.

“The boys are their neighbours and the two had befriended the three young men who have been staying in the apartment for the last one year,” Basu said.

“Being neighbours, the boys knew the youths. The two began to frequent the apartment since the beginning of the cricket World Cup to watch the matches on television,’’ Basu added. The flat had valuables that included expensive cameras, ornaments, a television set and compact discs.

The police said the Madhyamik student confessed that he and his friend had hit upon the idea of cleaning out the apartment last week for making some quick money.

The two boys brought Das to the area on Friday evening and showed him the apartment and exit doors from outside the flat. It was decided that they would execute the plan on Sunday night.

Das arrived in a taxi with three associates on Sunday night and knocked on the door. The two boys were already in the apartment, watching television. As soon as one of the boys opened the door, Das entered with two other associates, brandishing revolvers and bhojalis.

They forced the boys and another friend, along with the three residents of the apartment, into an adjoining room and looted the place. “They then summoned one of the boys out of the room and after speaking to him for a few minutes, left the place,’’ Basu said.

The deputy commissioner said the police found it intriguing that the robbers took out a boy and then left him unharmed. “We initially detained the boys and interrogated them for a couple of hours,’’ Singh said.

The police said both broke down early today and confessed that they had plotted the robbery. “They gave details of Das and the address of the place where the stolen materials were stocked,’’ Basu said.

The godown was raided this morning, Das and an associate were arrested and the stolen goods recovered. The boys have been sent to juvenile home, from where they will be produced in a court tomorrow.

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