The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Robbed couple recounts horror tale

Siliguri, Oct. 5: It was not temptation, but the desire to help a struggling youth do well in life that made Anita and Rabindranath Ganguly eat biscuits offered by a cheat.

But nothing can compare the pain the couple felt on being betrayed by the youth whom they so trusted, not even the consumption of biscuits laced with drugs, which left them unconscious for the whole of yesterday.

The Gangulys, both septuagenarian and residents of Subashpally, are recuperating from the effect at the intensive care unit of a private nursing home at Khalpara. Though the attending doctors today said they were out of danger and recovering, Anita's condition is more precarious than Rabindranath's.

'I simply don't understand what is going on. Why would anybody try to harm us' Rabindranath said.

Recalling the incident, he said: 'Tapan Das was the driver of a doctor who lived in the neighbourhood. The doctor passed away a few years ago and Tapan lost his job. On Monday night, he came to us with a packet of biscuits and tea leaves. He told us that he had come to us to promote a new brand of biscuits. He asked us to taste one and tell him whether it was good enough for the market. My wife made tea and we had one biscuit each. I don't remember anything after that.'

After tea and biscuits, the Gangulys sat for dinner with Tapan, as was evident from the half-eaten food lying on the table. 'Mama and mami must have fell unconscious while having their dinner,' said Partho Chakraborty, the couple's nephew who lives at Sanghati More. 'Mama, being a diabetic, eats chapatis for dinner. His plate had half-eaten rotis. Another plate, most possibly mami's, was lying with half-eaten rice and dal on it, but there was another plate full of rice, which was untouched,' he added.

With their only daughter married in Calcutta, the Gangulys live all by themselves in their rented Subashpally home. It was their neighbours who first noticed that the door of the couple's apartment was ajar and the Gangulys lying unconscious.

Rabindranath was unable to recollect if he has lost any of his valuables. He, however, has not been told about the broken almirah. Chakraborty fears that a lot of jewellery and cash could be missing.

'Mami is very fond of gold and used to wear a number of bangles and chains, which are missing. Even mama used to wear a gold chain that is not there. One of the two steel almirahs, which had the keys of the other almirah, was broken. We fear a considerable sum of cash and jewellery is missing, the estimate of which can be found out once they recover.'

Siliguri additional superintendent of police Tripurari said an investigation would be started after recording the statement of the Gangulys. 'We are waiting for them to recover,' he said.

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