Four persons were sentenced to lifelong imprisonment and a fifth got 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment on Friday for committing a dacoity at a city jeweller’s in September 1999.
Rabin Mukherjee, 10th judge of the city civil and sessions court, said in his verdict that he had given the five offenders exemplary punishment with the intention of checking dacoities in the city.
Police said four criminals, of three different areas of the state, assembled and planned the dacoity in the jewellery shop on Bidhan Sarani, in north Calcutta. They were identified as Sujoy Banerjee of Burtola, in Calcutta; Sumit Maity of Digha and Bablu Mondal and Rafique Islam of Titagarh, in North 24-Parganas.
On September 1, at about 1.30 pm, the four armed themselves with deadly weapons and raided the jewellery shop. Sanjoy and Sumit kept the employees at bay with revolvers, while Bablu and Rafique took way Rs 3.26 lakh from the cash box and 10 kg of gold from the showcase.
The four hurled bombs to cover their tracks while fleeing. The shop-owner lodged a diary with Burtola police station.
Nearly four months later, police arrested the quartet. After interrogating the four accused, the police made another arrest — Dalia Ansari, of Khardah, in North 24-Parganas. The ornaments stolen from the shop had been bought by Ansari.
Investigation revealed that Sujoy was the mastermind of the operation. Before the dacoity, he had kept close watch on the shop for quite some time.
After their arrest, a case was started against the five at the Calcutta Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court and, subsequently, charges were framed against them. The five went on trial at the city civil and sessions court.
While the public prosecutor demanded strong penal action against the offenders, the lawyers on behalf of the accused pleaded that their clients had been falsely implicated.
After examining a number of witnesses, the judge passed his verdict on Thursday, convicting the five accused. On Friday, the judge pronounced the sentences. Sujoy , Sumit, Bablu and Rafique were sentenced to life imprisonment and Ansari was sent to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment.
Jail for robbery: Six persons were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by the city sessions court on charges of robbing Rs 3 lakh from the office of a courier service company. According to police, a gang of eight miscreants raided the office in the Posta area on October 4, 2001, and snatched the money at gun-point. During the course of investigation, police rounded up six of the culprits.