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Bike gangs target traders

Nirmal Kumar Garodia, a dealer in pipes, was returning to his home at Upper Bazar, Ranchi, from his shop on Kartsarai Road, hardly a km away, on Monday night when three motorcycle-borne men robbed him of Rs 17 lakh after injuring him with the revolver’s butt

On Sunday, two men on a bike snatched Rs 2.25 lakh from Ajit Kumar Choudhary, the owner of Eylex. He was on his way back to his Purulia Road residence from the multiplex at Hinoo when the incident took place at Main Road Over Bridge around 10.30pm.

If these two incidents and many more in the recent past are any indication, bike gangs are again on the prowl in the capital. And businessmen beware, for the criminals are striking at night and particularly targeting traders.

But if you are banking on police to help, you are expecting a bit too much as the experiences of Garodia and Choudhary will tell you. For, patrolling teams are a rare sight on the deserted roads, which are also poorly lit up.

Garodia, who was released from Nagarmal Modi Seva Sadan after being treated for head injuries around 11am on Tuesday, told The Telegraph that he had fought with the criminals for a good 10 minutes before they finally succeeded in snatching the cash-filled bag from him. “There was no one around to help me. On top of that, there was no light on the road,” he said.

He also expressed concern about the security of businessmen, saying that they no longer felt safe in the city.

An FIR was registered at Kotawali police station on Monday night itself. But no arrest has been made.

In Sunday’s incident too, the robbers were armed with a pistol. According to the FIR registered with Chutia police, the criminals had covered their faces with handkerchiefs.

SP (city) R.K. Prasad said efforts were on to nab the criminals. Asked about the steps taken to curb theft and robberies on bikes, he said: “Order has been issued to beef up night patrolling and keep a vigil on those whose movements are suspicious.”

FJCCI president Sajjan Kumar Sarraf also expressed concern. “It’s unfortunate that businessmen are being robbed like this. Police should take proper action,” he said, besides making an appeal to all traders to take precautions.

“They should always have someone, may be an employee, for company when they are carrying a lot of cash or inform police about their movements,” he said.