The ransacked room of Vinayak Singh in Balidih on Sunday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
An armed eight-member gang struck at a affluent contractor’s house at Balidih industrial area in the small hours of Sunday, around 8km from Bokaro district headquarters, and decamped with cash and jewellery worth around Rs 20 lakh.
This is the first major crime in the district after Jitendra Singh took charge as Bokaro SP, replacing Kuldip Dwivedi on January 16.
Around 2am, eight men, faces covered in mufflers, entered the two-storey home of contractor Vinayak Singh, breaking open the main gate’s grille.
Armed with pistols, revolvers, daggers, knives and iron rods, the gang first took hostage Singh’s driver Nankhu Rajwar, who was sleeping on the ground floor.
“While two persons kept an eye on Nankhu, three entered the room of my son, Ishan, who is home on vacation from Bangalore,” 55-year-old Singh said. When Ishan — an engineering student — tried to raise an alarm, they threatened to kill him, Singh added.
“Hearing the commotion in the adjoining room, my wife and I woke up. But before we could react, the rest of the three men barged in and pointed guns at us,” Singh said.
The criminals demanded the keys of the almirah from the lady of the house. Terrified, she did as instructed.
In the next 30 minutes, the gang mopped up Rs 4 lakh, which Singh had withdrawn from the bank on Saturday afternoon for labour payment, as well as jewellery worth Rs 16 lakh kept in the locker.
“Before leaving, the gang removed batteries of all our cellphones so that we could not call anyone immediately,” Singh said. They called the police from a neighbour’s phone.
Bokaro DSP (headquarters) Vir Singh, who reached the site around 3.15am, said someone knew Singh had withdrawn cash from the bank.
New SP Jitendra Singh asked Balidih OC Mukund Narayan Singh to raid nearby areas. A sniffer dog was also pressed into service.