Despite police commissioner Sujoy Chakraborty reading the riot Act to his department for its failure to arrest the miscreants who burgled his daughter’s residence and two other houses in New Alipore, criminals made another attempt to rob a house in Block G early on Tuesday.
Policemen on anti-crime patrol spotted the criminals as they were trying to scale the boundary wall of a house by the railway tracks. Rows of houses line the Sealdah-Budge Budge rail tracks in New Alipore.
The patrol intercepted the goons and two sub-inspectors pointed revolvers at them, directing them to surrender. The criminals hid themselves in the dark and opened fire from their improvised, country-made revolvers. The cops retaliated and the shootout continued for about 10 minutes, local residents said. Deputy commissioner of police (south) Kuldeep Singh said the criminals ran along the tracks towards Majherhat station, with policemen hot on their heels.
“The criminals know the track-terrain better and managed to slip out of our net into a waiting vehicle and escape,’’ Singh said, adding that no one was injured in the shootout.
Officer-in-charge of New Alipore police station P.K. Ghosh said the miscreants are from Akra, in South 24-Parganans. “We raided their hideout on Tuesday night but could not find them,’’ he said. Investigations revealed that the same gang had robbed police chief Chakraborty’s daughter’s house last month. “They are also involved in three recent dacoities in New Alipore’s Block G,’’ Ghosh said.
Both Singh and Ghosh admitted that there had not been any breakthrough in the robberies at the houses of the police chief’s daughter and elsewhere in New Alipore. “We have arrested a dozen suspects but they are not the ones directly involved in the incidents. They are facilitators to the crime,’’ Ghosh added.
Tuesday morning’s incident has exposed the futility of joint patrolling by Government Railway Police, South 24-Parganas police and the city police. Commissioner Chakraborty had taken the initiative to summon intra-departmental meetings in an effort to trap the criminals.
“But so far, it has not been fruitful,’’ an officer of New Alipore police station said. Local residents alleged that the railway tracks are left unguarded and it was pure chance that the anti-crime patrol spotted the gang on Tuesday.