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Neighbour on vigil robbed of jewellery

The grille the robbers cut through to enter the Baguiati house on Saturday. Picture by Mayukh Sengupta

Calcutta, June 28: Three masked men held at gunpoint a Baguiati woman keeping vigil at the vacant home of a neighbour early today and robbed her of her gold chain and earrings.

The owner of the two-storey house, Krishna Saha, an elderly widow who lives alone, is in Puri on the occasion of Rathyatra. Before leaving two days ago, she had requested next-door neighbour Shampa Saha to spend the nights at her place.

Neighbours said several burglaries had taken place in the neighbourhood in the past few months.

Shampa, 37, was sleeping on a divan in the ground-floor living room of Krishna’s house, 2km off VIP Road, when the robbers cut through the grille gate and broke open the lock on the main door around 2.30am.

“One of them put a gun to my forehead and asked for the keys to the almirah. I told them I was not the house owner and had no idea about the keys,” said Shampa, a homemaker. “The robbers tried to break open the almirah but gave up as it was creating too much noise.”

She added: “One of the robbers tried to break open the cupboards with a shovel while another stood at the door, dagger in hand. They demanded my earrings and gold chain. When I hesitated, the youth with the gun threatened to shoot me. I handed over the jewellery.”

Before leaving, the robbers threatened to hurl bombs if Shampa raised the alarm. “I was so scared that I could not come out of the house and inform my husband. I came out at 3.30am and told my husband. He told some neighbours, who informed the police,” she said.

Santosh Nimbalkar, the deputy commissioner of the Bidhannagar police commissionerate, said the police had visited Krishna’s house.

Six robberies have taken place in Baguiati in the past three months, police sources said.