The apartment (circled) of Ratna Mukherjee. (Sanat Kr. Sinha)
Three youths allegedly tied up and gagged a 65-year-old woman in her Kasba flat before looting cash, jewellery and other valuables on Tuesday afternoon.
Police said Ratna Mukherjee, who lives alone in the second-floor flat on NK Ghosal Road, knew two of the youths, who she identified as Arnab Dey, alias Abhi, and Munna.
“The lady said she knew Arnab for eight years as he would come to the flat every year before Puja to sell garments. Over the past two years he had been bringing Munna along,” said an officer of Kasba police station.
The dacoity occurred within a fortnight of a heist at a Deshapriya Park house, where an 82-year-old man was killed after he tried to resist the robbery by a cleaner known to him for 15 years.
Mukherjee, who took voluntary retirement from UCO Bank about a decade back, has been living alone in the flat since the death of husband Romesh, who used to teach at Jadavpur University, three years ago.
“The lady owed Arnab Rs 1,600. Arnab, Munna and another youth turned up at the flat around 2.30pm, saying they had come to collect the money,” said the police officer.
After entering the flat, the trio asked for water. “When Ratna turned around to fetch water, the youths tied her with a rope. One of them pasted a tape on her lips to prevent her from shouting. She was made to sit on a chair with her hands and legs tied,” said the officer.
The trio then started snatching the jewellery Ratna had been wearing. According to the woman’s complaint, the trio took away a gold necklace , three rings studded with precious stones, a gold bangle and a gold-plated iron bangle.
They also took away two mobile phones and Rs 12,000.
No one in the apartment block got an inkling about the robbery as Mukherjee could not scream for help.
After the trio left, Mukherjee managed to untie herself and alerted two women who were passing by. The women went upstairs and opened the door, which the youths had bolted from outside while fleeing. She then went over to a relative’s place in Ballygunge before lodging a police complaint.
In the Kasba neighbourhood where Mukherjee lives, residents spoke about a sense of fear and insecurity. This was the first time, they said, that someone was robbed in such a manner in the locality.