The third eye has worked finally with police cracking the daylight robbery of Rs 7 lakh from a building developer Raju Singh within 12 hours of the crime, thanks to a network of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.
A senior police officer associated with the investigation said electronic gadgets — not intelligence inputs — helped them solve the daring loot within a record time.
The robbers had carried out the operation in an area otherwise considered to be safe because of presence of a large number of security personnel.
First, a team headed by senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaj monitored the video footage of the CCTV cameras installed both in and outside the Indian Bank branch on the Biscomaun Bhavan premises near Gandhi Maidan. Two youths wearing jackets and woollens were spotted moving suspiciously inside the bank. The police zeroed in on the suspects and launched an intensive search for them. Subsequently, the members of the investigating team watched the video footage of the CCTV cameras installed at different locations in the city.
The sources said the suspects were spotted near Patna Junction roundabout, which suggested that they might have stepped towards the railway station to catch a train. Plainclothes policemen were deployed and asked to keep a close watch on the passengers boarding long-distance trains from Patna Junction.
Two suspects — Vinay Gwala (27) and Virendra Gwala (28) of Jalpaiguri (Bengal) district’s Fatapukur under Rajganj police station — were caught travelling in an air-conditioned two-tier (AC-II) compartment of 13246 Capital Express bound for New Jalpaiguri. The police took them into custody and also recovered Rs 2.28 lakh from them. The duo, the police said, had taken the cash to Danapur from there they made their way to Patna Junction.
Other members of the gang, which mainly operates in Katihar and its adjoining districts, however, managed to give the men in uniform a slip.
Maharaj said: “From the beginning, we were suspecting involvement of the Kora gang in the case. But we had no definite clue about the robbers. The modus operandi of the robbers, however, hinted at the gang’s involvement,” he said, adding that the video clips of the CCTV cameras helped the police ascertain the identity of the robbers, their arrest and recovery of a part of the booty. He added that the arrested persons have revealed the names of other gang members. “Raids are on to apprehend them,” he said.
The victim, Raju Singh, and his two aides accompanied the team to the railway station from where the duo were caught red-handed around 11pm on Monday.
The police have prepared a list of the active members of the gang, which had earlier carried out similar operations in the city. “It is difficult to trace the whereabouts of the gang as they don’t stay at a particular place for long,” an investigating officer said.
He said the police played spoilsport as the robbers had planned a big party. “One of the two arrested persons told the interrogators that they had planned to spend lavishly at a party to be held on the New Year’s Eve at Katihar,” the officer revealed.
CCTV cameras to keep track of traffic situation and monitor criminal activities
How many are there?
20 in different locations. At least 59 more in pipeline
How does it help?
Each of the cameras records footage and sends it to the control room in the SSP office. Personnel monitor the footage round the clock. As the CCTV cameras have been put up in important junctions like the Dakbungalow, Income tax, railway station among others, the police can check anyone’s movement