Calcutta, Feb. 2: An armed gang looted a post-office at Basirhat in North 24-Parganas and the house-owners’ home on the first floor of the building, beat up two constables who rushed in and fled with their rifles and ammunition.
The constables, who were on duty at a nearby outpost, were repeatedly hit with iron rods and choppers for more than half-an-hour. Residents rushed them to hospital where their condition was said to be critical.
As the news reached the sub-divisional police headquarters, a large contingent was sent to Chapapukur — close to the Indo-Bangla border — where the incident occurred.
The police later recovered the rifles from a paddy field but two boxes with at least 20 bullets were still missing. No arrests have been made yet.
“We suspect the dacoits sneaked into Bangladesh before we began the search operation,” said an investigating officer.
Today’s incident was the second attack by suspected border bandits on policemen in the past month. Earlier, dacoits had tied up two constables guarding the customs’ storehouse in Petrapole, a frontier area in the Bongaon sub-division, and beat them. The rifles of these constables were also snatched. They were recovered three days later, from a pond.
Basudeb Bag, superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas, said the heist occurred around 1 am on Sunday. ‘They robbed Rs 20,000 from the post office and then stormed the house of Kanai Biswas, the owner of the post-office building,” Bag said.
The gangsters took away cash and ornaments at gun-point from Biswas’ house.
“As the dacoits were about to flee, Biswas’ family members raised an alarm, which caught the attention of the policemen at the outpost, metres from the post-office,” said Bag.
“The constables — Nityananda Brahma and Khoda Baks Gazi — rushed to the Biswas residence. They gave the goons a chase. But they suddenly gave up on their escape bid and hit back. The stunned constables did not even get time to aim their rifles,” the officer added.
Dacoits raided the office of Ajoy De, chairman of the Santipur municipality in Nadia district, early this morning and decamped with Rs 38,000 and important documents, reports our correspondent.
“The dacoits broke three iron gates and two almirahs after ransacking my office,” said De.
Officer in-charge of Santipur Subrata Sarkar was suspended later on charges of negligence to duty. District superintendent of police Benoy Chakraborty said the OC had failed to control crime in the area.