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Child at gunpoint, house looted

Robbers scaled the closed iron gate of a Salt Lake house, broke into the caretaker’s quarters, held his five-year-old son at gunpoint and looted cash and ornaments worth nearly Rs 1.5 lakh early on Thursday.

The burgled house, CF 73, is bang opposite a house where six armed robbers had gagged all occupants in July last year before a quick SMS alert and the prompt response of relatives in a neighbouring block led to their capture.

The entry and exit of the robbers on Thursday were captured on CCTV cameras installed in the house opposite, CF 71. The CCTV footage shows three youths climbing over the railings of a nearby green patch and throwing away some clothes stuffed in a bag outside CF 73 before scaling the gate around 2.30am.

The robbers knocked on the door of the garage, where the caretaker lives with his family. When the caretaker’s wife, Putul Singh, opened the door, the trio barged in and pointed a gun at her son Prince, who was asleep.

“When I heard the knock, I thought it was somebody from the house. But when I opened the door, three men forced their way in and two of them pointed guns at me and my son,” said Putul, who panicked and woke up her husband.

One of the robbers pointed a gun at Putul’s husband Ajay and warned him not to shout. “My wife said we did not have any valuables. When they threatened to kill our son, I asked my wife to give them the almirah keys,” Ajay said.

The robbers allegedly asked the couple to stand facing a wall. One of them stood guard, another kept his gun pointed at the child, while the third ransacked the almirah and grabbed a box containing two pairs of gold ear rings, two gold rings, two gold nose rings, a mangalsutra and a pair of anklets. The robber also took out a bag with Rs 10,000.

“I pleaded with them saying that was the only jewellery I had but the robbers threatened to smash my head with a revolver butt,” said Putul, who had saved the money for her son’s school fee. “My husband earns only Rs 4,000 a month and I had been saving Rs 500 every month to put together Rs 8,000 for my son’s fee due next month.”

The trio also snatched the couple’s cell phones. They, however, left the SIM cards behind. The entire operation took around 15 minutes, after which the robbers once again scaled the gate and fled, as seen in the CCTV footage.

The owners of the house with CCTVs, have handed over the footage to police. “The men may have had a tip-off about the cash in the caretaker’s room,” said an officer of Bidhannagar North police station, a stone’s throw from the house.