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Copper stolen in night raid

A gang of 20 dacoits raided a factory at the industrial hub of Bokaro Industrial Area Development Authority (Biada) in Balidih, about 16km from Bokaro steel city, on Thursday night and fled with cash and copper worth over Rs 20 lakh in a fresh pointer to the deteriorating law and order situation.

The criminals, carrying countrymade pistols, went on a looting spree at Singh Electrical and Engineering Works, which manufactures electrical equipment, for two hours from 12.30pm without being challenged. In fact, the men took time to collect the copper kept on the premises and pack them in several sacks before ferrying them away after locking the main door.

Although owner Laxman Singh had deputed two unarmed guards at the factory, they were unable to do much. A complaint has been lodged at Balidih police station.

According to police, the dacoits entered the factory after scaling the boundary wall on the rear side and took the guards — Ram Chandra Singh and Tuntun Singh — hostage at gunpoint.

“Some of the men entered the office and broke open the drawer and cupboard. They took away Rs 47,000 besides three signed cheques, a mobile phone and four tonnes of copper,” said Balidih police station in-charge R.K. Singh.

Asked whether regular police patrolling was undertaken in the industrial area that houses more than 400 units, proprietor Laxman Singh added: “Had there been regular patrolling, such incidents would not have taken place in Biada territory.”

Three weeks back, a similar incident had rocked Biada when a gang had raided another factory and took away copper and other metals worth more than Rs 4 lakh.

OC R.K. Singh, however, maintained that regular patrolling was done in Balidih besides railway station area, railway colony, Kurmidih and other places.