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Cops in dark about Salt Lake robbery

Police are yet to make any breakthrough in the robbery at a retired IAS officer’s Salt Lake flat on Friday afternoon, adding to the worry of the township’s residents who are increasingly feeling unsafe over a spurt in crime.

Police have questioned the caretaker of the four-storeyed building in KB block and two women help in Kanta Prasad Sinha’s third-floor apartment. “Even after questioning them for several hours on Saturday and Sunday, we are yet to get any clue about the burglary,” said a police source.

Jewellery, silver utensils and foreign currencies together worth Rs 2.7 lakh were stolen from an almirah in the flat.

Just two floors below lives Banibrata Basu, the additional director-general of police (intelligence branch). “The incident is so daring. I am surprised,” Basu said on Sunday.

The building was completed in 2000 and the Sinhas moved into the flat in 2001. The flat owners have not hired any guard, said a resident. “The lone caretaker could not be found in the building most of the time.”

Metro visited Sinha’s flat on Sunday afternoon. His wife Nandita looked shaken. “The incident is scary,” said Sinha, 63, who has retired as director of the social welfare department and is now controller of exams at the West Bengal University of Health Sciences.

“Although I went on my usual night walk on Saturday, my wife is mostly staying indoors. She is too scared to leave the house locked.”

The couple’s only child Rajeshwari, a research scholar at IIT Delhi, has told her parents that she would bring a German Shephard from Delhi during her next visit to the city in February. “She is calling us frequently and wants to bring the dog for our safety,” said Sinha.

“I was at my Salt Lake office and my wife was out, too, when the incident happened,” Sinha had said on Saturday. Nandita had left the flat around 12.30pm and returned at 1.45pm to find the padlock on the main door broken.

Since September, at least six incidents of robbery and burglary have been reported in the township but the cops have been unable to crack any.

“More than two months ago, a police officer had called us and asked for the description of one of my stolen gold chains. There was no word from them after that,” said Baisakhi Shome, the mother of Monsoon Wedding actress Tillotama Shome, whose BE block house was burgled on September 3.

Gadgets and valuables were stolen from three other houses in the township in as many days during that time.

“Since the onset of winter, the frequency of patrols has lessened. I return home late and on most days see the township’s entry and exit points unmanned,” said Suparna Dasgupta, a resident of KC block and student of fashion designing.

BJ block resident Pradip Pal, whose house was burgled in May last year, said he had never seen a police patrol in the alleys near his house.

The police, however, claimed there was nothing to panic.

“We are working on all the cases. We have arrested some suspects and the cases will be cracked very soon,” said an officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate.