|Saswati Dutta, whose chain was snatched on Fern Road on Friday morning. (Bishwarup Dutta)
The spectre of snatching that had left women terrorised before the Puja returned to south Calcutta on Friday, belying the state police chief’s claim that the gang behind the crimes had been busted.
Two women were robbed of gold chains within an hour on Fern Road and at Ruby Park on Friday morning.
Somali Majumdar, 49, spotted two youths on a bike apparently looking for an address moments after leaving her Ruby Park East home around 9am on her way to Howrah, where she teaches at a school.
“The bikers circled my wife once. The moment she turned her back on them, one of the bikers grabbed her chain and pulled it,” said Somali’s husband Gautam Majumdar, a lawyer at Bankshall court.
“She tried to hold on the chain but part of it was yanked off. She raised an alarm in the crowded street.”
A man walking with his little daughter tried to catch the snatchers but one of them brandished a revolver to keep him at bay. The police failed to locate the man till late on Friday.
The teacher realised that part of the 10-gram chain was still on her when she went to lodge a complaint with Kasba police station.
Barely a kilometre away and 45 minutes later, a gold chain was snatched from Saswati Dutta, a 68-year-old resident of Fern Road. Dutta and son Abhishek, who works in Sector V, were on their way to a temple on the occasion of his birthday.
“We were walking towards Gariahat to catch a cab. Suddenly I felt someone tugging at my chain. The moment I turned around, I saw a man holding my gold chain run towards a bike stationed across the road,” the woman recalled. “My son tried to chase the man but I stopped him as snatchers are usually armed.”
The chain with a rudraksh weighed 8 gram.
“Witnesses told me the bike’s number was P 4777. But police said they could not trace any bike bearing this number,” said Abhisek.
The director-general of police, Naparajit Mukherjee, had claimed that his force had got hold of the main gang responsible for at least five snatchings in the city before Puja. Sections of the city police, however, had disputed the claim. “We examined the accused picked up from Mathurapur but they were not involved in the snatchings,” said an officer of the detective department.