A robbery was foiled in Burrabazar on Monday morning when an off-duty policeman chased a youth fleeing with a trader’s money. Constable Swapan Das was on his way back home after his shift at the thana when he spotted the youth running, clutching a bag, while a middle-aged man began to shout that he had been robbed.
Das ran after the youth, who was later identified as Bashir Mohammad. As the street was crowded, it did not take long for Das to catch up with Mohammad.
He grabbed the youth and snatched the bag from him. Mohammad tried to wriggle free, but Das managed to hold on to him till a group of local people approached the two.
After Das identified himself as a policeman, the group that had gathered roughed up Mohammad and called up Burrabazar police station.
Backup arrived in a few minutes, and Mohammad was later produced in court and remanded in police custody.
The man who Mohammad tried to rob was later identified as Raj Kumar Tiwari, a money-changer with an office on Mahatma Gandhi Road. Deputy commissioner of police, central, Zulfiquar Hasan, said that Mohammad had followed Tiwari, who was going to a client’s shop with Rs 25,000 in cash. As Tiwari neared Strand Road, Mohammad pounced on him, snatching the bag of money.
Mohammad fled immediately, but on hearing Tiwari’s shouts, Das took off after him.
Mohammad was identified as a youth from Howrah town. “We have been in contact with the Howrah police to find out more about him,’’ said Hasan.
The Burrabazar police also expressed concern over “the influx of criminals” from Howrah, despite stepped-up police patrols in the area. “We have requested Howrah police to cooperate with us in a joint drive in the Burrabazar and Howrah areas to flush out these miscreants,’’ a senior Burrabazar police station officer added.