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Robbers snatch Rs 5 lakh, one chased and caught

Siliguri, Jan. 28: An armed gang of four barged into the office of a private transport company at Nayabazar near here, held two employees on gunpoint and fled with more than Rs 5 lakh this evening.

Local people chased the robbers and one of them was caught.

Around 4.45pm, the gang entered the transport office on the first floor of a four-storied building at Kalinath Road, a kilometre away from Kanchenjungha Stadium where chief minister Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the Uttarbanga Utsav today.

“There were two employees at the office and they were busy arranging cash and documents after the day’s work. Suddenly, the robbers entered the office brandishing firearms. They held the two staff members at gunpoint, snatched the cash and escaped,” Rakesh Sarda, an acquaintance of the transport company owner, said.

The owner of the company is in Dhupguri for work and he has been informed about the robbery.

Sanjay Kumar Singhal, the additional secretary of Siliguri Merchants’ Association, whose shop is located nearby, said a third employee of the transport company had gone out of the office.

While he was returning, he saw the robbers running out of the building.

“Suspecting that something wrong had happened, he raised the alarm and people from the nearby shops rushed to the spot. Seeing the crowd, the robbers panicked and started running aimlessly. Some of us chased them and one of the gang members was caught,” Singhal said.

The others managed to escape. Later, police took the gang member into custody.

“We suspect that the gang is from Rajasthan. We have arrested one person and he is Md. Farooq. We are trying to find out where he is from. He told us that that the group was staying at a hotel in the Siliguri Junction area. We raided the hotel room this evening and a country made pistol has been recovered from there,” said Anand Kumar, the commissioner of Siliguri Metropolitan Police.

He added that the money has not been recovered yet.

“The gang took away around Rs 5-7 lakh in cash. All the police stations in town have been alerted,” Kumar said.