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Looted, hit with pistol butt

A group of youths in their mid-twenties stormed the one-storey house of a sales-tax officer in New Alipore late on Sunday and robbed the family at gunpoint. The dacoits beat up the officer and his wife when they hesitated to hand over the key to their almirah. They walked away with cash and the ornaments of the two women of the household.

The goons, who bolted in the next-door neighbour to ensure safe passage, took 20 minutes to clean up the house. Both the officer and his wife were hit on the head with the butt of revolvers and choppers. They were treated at M.R. Bangur Hospital.

Prakash Kumar Ghosh, officer-in-charge (OC) of New Alipore police station, said no arrest has been made. “Burglary is on the rise in pockets of New Alipore along the railway tracks of the Sealdah-Budge Budge section. We suspect it was the job of a group that has struck earlier. We are on their trail,” he added.

Mukul Bose, WBCS officer, said the dacoits struck around 1 am. “We retired to bed at 12.30 am. I woke up on hearing a sound and called my wife Mita. We came out of the bedroom and saw the front door broken,” recounted Bose. “But the collapsible gate was intact. A youth waiting outside told me to open the gate. I thought he was alone, so I ran to the other door. But they had locked it from outside. In the meantime, the youth broke the lock of the collapsible gate and entered the drawing room. He was joined by three others.”

Basu’s wife drew out an iron rod to ward off the attack, which prompted the miscreants to brandish their weapons. “They dragged my wife to the bedroom and asked for the key. When she hesitated, they hit her with the butt of a revolver. Sensing trouble, I entered the room. They hit me on the head and face with a chopper,” said Basu.

When Basu’s sister Anu and daughter Shalmoli emerged from the other room, the dacoits herded them into the bedroom where Mita was being held captive. “I opened the almirah for them. They took out Rs 40,000, part of the money I had borrowed from my office to repair my house. Then, they made my wife and sister hand over their ornaments,” Basu recounted.

OC Ghosh said: “It is not possible for us to patrol the railway tracks. Residents have agreed to raise their boundary walls and erect a barbed-wire fence on it.”

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