A gang of robbers broke into an apartment owned by a widow in Baguiati and took away cash and jewellery together worth Rs 5 lakh on Monday morning.
Nibedita Dey, 48, and her 23-year-old son, Saumitra, were at a relative’s place a few blocks away as their first-floor flat at Rajashree Apartments is being refurbished.
The robbers armed with guns and daggers overpowered the caretaker of the building at FC block under Rajarhat-Gopalpur Municipality, a kilometre from Jora Mandir in Baguiati and 2km from Big Bazaar, before breaking into Dey’s home.
Caretaker Bangali Shaw said the gang pounced on him when he stepped out of his room on the ground floor to switch on the water pump around 5am. “I saw the main collapsible gate of the building open. The moment I walked out of my room, they pinned me down. Three of them gagged me, while the fourth man put a gun to my head and pushed me towards the stairs. They asked me if any apartment was vacant,” he added.
The five-storeyed building has five apartments on each floor. Barring Dey’s home, all the other flats are occupied.
The caretaker told police that the robbers took him to the first-floor apartment, which remained locked at night while carpenters worked there during the day. The owners were staying over at a relative’s place.
After breaking the locks on the main door, robbers entered a bedroom and broke open the iron safe where jewellery was kept. Then they took away the cash kept inside an almirah in the second bedroom.
“They tied my hands and legs and locked me inside the apartment before leaving,” Shaw told the police.
The other residents came to know of the incident when they couldn’t find the caretaker who was supposed to switch on the water pump in the morning. As they came out of their flats to check, they heard somebody thumping on the door of Dey’s apartment.
Asish Bhattacharjee, who stays on the second floor, unlocked the door and found Shaw tied up inside. “We called the cops after the caretaker narrated the incident to us,” he said.
Police suspect that robbers had specific information about the apartment.
Monday’s robbery was the fifth over the past two weeks on the city’s northern fringe. “On August 3, three flats in an adjacent building were robbed. On Sunday evening, gold ornaments were stolen from a temple,” said Somnath Boral, a Baguiati resident.
Santosh Nimbalkar, the additional deputy commissioner of Bidhannagar, said: “It seems that a gang is operating in the area. We are trying to nab them.”