Indra Rajmal Lodha after the dacoity. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
An armed gang of five raided an apartment in Burrabazar and went on a looting spree for over 45 minutes on Thursday morning.
The dacoits held Indra Rajmal Lodha, his grandmother, their driver and three domestic helps at gunpoint from 9.15am and escaped with Rs 70,000 in cash and gold jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh.
Lodha, a sharebroker living on NS Road, was hit on the head with the butt of a revolver when he tried to resist the raiders, all in their 20s.
“The goons tied the hands and legs of all the domestic helps and locked them in a room before leaving the apartment. Lodha and his grandmother Kirandevi, the two occupants of the flat, were forced into one of the bedrooms,” said Jawed Shamim, the deputy commissioner of police (detective department).
Police said the five youths entered the four-storeyed building at 89 NS Road, a 10-minute walk from Writers’ Buildings. “They went straight to the third-floor flat of Lodha, where the front door was not locked from inside,” said an officer of the detective department’s anti-dacoity section.
“The five youths entered the apartment and one of them bolted the door and stood guard. Two of them entered the bedroom where Lodha was asleep.”
The duo slapped Lodha awake and asked for the keys to the almirah. “When Lodha refused to comply, one of them whipped out a revolver and hit him on the head with the butt,” said Shamim.
“Once Lodha handed over the keys, the goons opened the almirah, took out the cash and put it into a leather bag they had brought with them,” said an officer. “They then ransacked the other cupboards till they found Kirandevi’s gold jewellery.”
The others got busy trussing up driver Birju and the three helps and locking them in a room. Before leaving, the raiders bolted the main door of the apartment from outside.
The operation was so smooth and silent that Manish Daga, landlord of the apartment who also lives on the third floor, told police that he did not have a clue about the raid. “They spent more than 45 minutes in the flat but we came to know about it only when Lodha and his grandmother raised an alarm,” said Daga.
Preliminary probe revealed the operation was well-planned and the police are not ruling out an insider’s role.