The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Arrests foil dacoity bid on foreign bank

A robbery bid on Brabourne Road was foiled on Thursday afternoon when a police patrol chanced upon the dacoits moments before they were planning to strike a foreign bank. Two members of the gang were arrested, while three others managed to escape. Two loaded revolvers were recovered from their possession.

Preliminary investigations revealed that around 4 pm on Thursday, five youths assembled near the Brabourne Road bank. One of them, posing as a customer, entered the bank while the others lay in wait for a signal.

“Their plans went awry after a police patrol passing the bank noticed them and grew suspicious. When the cops stopped them, the youths panicked and started to flee.

The police team gave chase and rounded up 20-year-old Ajay Paswan, of Kankinara, and Om Prakash Chowdhury, a 19-year-old resident of Khardah. The other three, including the youth who had entered the bank, managed to flee.

The youth confessed to having come to the city several times to plan the robbery. They had chosen the Brabourne Road bank as it was the “least guarded of all the banks in the area”.

Deputy commissioner of police (central division), Zulfiquar Hasan, overseeing the investigation, said one of the youths hailed from Kankinara, in North 24-Parganas, and had a police record at the local thana.

“We are trying to find out if there are any cases pending against him at city police stations like Burrabazar and Posta as well,” the deputy commissioner explained.

Ajay, one the arrested youths, has Arms Act cases pending against him at Jagatdal police station. According to Om Prakash, both of them had started robbing and snatching at a very young age.

“They admitted that the lure of becoming rich overnight gave them the idea of coming to the city and robbing a bank. Had they succeeded with their first attempt, they would have chalked out plans to strike at banks in central and north Calcutta as well,” the investigators added.

After the arrests, the Jagatdal police station began to search for leads on the whereabouts of the three gang members who had managed to flee. A combing operation has been initiated and all the police stations in North and South 24-Parganas have been alerted.

After the dacoity attempt, panic-stricken bank employees contacted the Lalbazar control room, following which a contingent of policemen from the local thana arrived on the spot.

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