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Siliguri police form 3 teams to bust robbers

Siliguri, Feb. 19: The Siliguri metropolitan police today formed three teams to keep track of criminal gangs and prevent robberies, spurred by the burglary of a house allegedly by three women last night.

A three-member women gang had entered a house at South Deshbandhupara here around 7.30pm yesterday and got away with Rs 40,000 and gold ornaments. The gang members caught hold of an 11-year-old boy, held a dagger to him and asked his mother, Santa Sharma, to hand over the cash and valuables. After the robbery, the gang members dragged Santa and her 13-year-old elder son into the bathroom and locked it up. The younger boy’s hands and legs were tied up with a rope and the women fled with the booty.

S. Rajkumar, the additional deputy commissioner of police (east), said the involvement of women in a robbery was unheard of in Siliguri in the recent past.

“Yesterday’s incident was quite different as women criminals were involved in it. Our officers are probing the incident and we have decided to form three police teams, which would work across Siliguri to prevent robberies,” he said.

On February 13, Rina Ghosh, a 35-year-old lady realtor and railway contractor, had been shot dead at Hatiadanga near here. The investigators haven’t made a breakthrough in the case so far.

Sources said Rajkumar would monitor the teams, which would fan out across town and keep tabs on residential and commercial areas. “Women are known to commit crimes, particularly in the afternoon when male members of the family are away for work. The team members, both in uniforms and plainclothes, will keep a watch on localities and monitor the movement of suspicious people,” said a source.

Santa’s husband was yet to return home from his workplace when the house was robbed last night.

The police said women criminals generally turned up in Siliguri ahead of festivals. “They come here from outside to commit petty crimes like shoplifting during festive seasons. But yesterday’s incident is rare and hints at a new trend. That is why three teams have been formed to curb heists, especially by women,” said a police source.

Cable theft arrest

Rajganj police on Wednesday arrested a gang of 14 people for allegedly stealing overhead aluminium wires that were put by the Power Grid Corporation of India. The wires worth over Rs 1 crore were cut and stolen from different areas of Mainaguri and Rajganj in Jalpaiguri district.