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Heist, then search for umbrellas

Krishnagar, Sept. 6: They came, they threatened, they took away… umbrellas.

Restless after a heist at the house of an elderly couple last night in Nadia as it rained heavily, armed robbers asked the duo for umbrellas before escaping.

The gang of six, armed with revolvers and choppers, entered the one-storeyed house of Shristidhar Pramanik, 73, around midnight.

“They pointed revolvers at us and asked us to hand over valuables. We gave away around 20 grams of gold ornaments, Rs 2,000 in cash and five cellphones. They were about to leave when it started raining,” said Sristidhar, a farmer who lives with his ailing wife and unemployed son.

His son Sukhen, 27, said: “The robbers were getting restless. They waited for a few minutes, checked the items they had robbed and ordered us to give them at least five umbrellas. One of the robbers pointed a revolver at me and asked me to bring the umbrellas.”

The robbers slapped Shristidhar when he said there were only three umbrellas. “We started rummaging the house for more umbrellas. We found two discarded ones inside a cupboard,” he said.

“We gave the umbrellas to the robbers. They appeared happy and left, but not before threatening us with dire consequences if we informed police,” Shristidhar said.

The robbers broke into another house, about 200 metres away, but could not take away anything as the residents raised an alarm after a gang member slapped one of the occupants. As neighbours came running, the robbers fled.

District police chief S.R. Mishra said: “We have arrested one person in connection with the robbery. We hope to arrest the other gang members soon.”