The ransacked house of the Bhattacharjees. Picture by Bibhash Lodh
Police didn’t turn up to collect fingerprints from two burgled houses in the Baishnabghata-Patuli township until almost 36 hours after the twin incidents on Dashami, increasing the risk of evidence being wiped out.
According to senior officers at Lalbazar, fingerprints should be collected from a crime scene as early as possible to ensure that they are not smudged.
The delay not only went against investigation protocol but also inconvenienced the two families, who had been asked to ensure that the ransacked articles were not touched or misplaced till the police collected fingerprints and other evidence.
“It is the duty of the police to ensure that any investigation is done properly and quickly, but it looks like it is more our headache than theirs. We were the ones asking relatives and friends visiting us not to touch any articles. We spent most of the time outdoors to ensure that vital evidence was not lost,” said Biswajit Bhattacharjee, whose house was robbed on Dashami evening while he and his family were watching immersion of idols at a nearby lake.
The burglars looted cash and jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh from the Bhattacharjees’ two- storey house by breaking open a lock on a rear door.
Ornaments and cash worth nearly Rs 60,000 were looted from another house a few blocks away the same evening.
Bhattacharjee alleged that when the cops were alerted about the theft on Dashami evening, they took over two hours to reach his house.
An officer at Patuli police station said he and his colleagues were busy supervising idol immersion.
“We worked till late in the night on Dashami and have been up since 4am for Id duty,” the officer added.
Nobody had been arrested in either case till late on Wednesday.