Seven boys, aged between 12 and 14, were arrested at Sonarpur, on the city’s southern fringes, on Monday, and arms and ammunition were seized from them. All seven were rounded up from a house at Kaderpara, where they were staying as tenants for the past month and a half.
Another youth, believed to be the kingpin of the gang, managed to flee. The arrested boys will be produced before the magistrate of the juvenile court on Tuesday.
Rajesh Kumar Singh, additional superintendent of police (industrial), South 24-Parganas, said the arrested boys used the house as their hideout.
“Acting on a tip-off, officials of Sonarpur police station stormed the single-storey house and caught the boys by surprise. One revolver, cartridges and three daggers were seized from them,” Singh said.
Police found out that all seven boys were from the Bhangore, Jadavpur and Bagha Jatin areas. They had dropped out of school two years ago. “These boys, apparently, came in touch with gangsters of Behala and Thakurpukur. We will have to verify whether these seven minors are involved in any crime or not. It seems we have arrested them before they could commit any crime,” Singh added.
According to police, gangsters of the Behala and Thakurpukur area catch them young. “They first train these boys. They are taught how to pull a trigger. After the basic training, the boys begin a career in crime, starting as snatchers and burglars,” said an official of Sonarpur thana.
According to Singh, all the arrested boys have undergone basic training and all of them know how to handle weapons. “The leader, along with the boys, took refuge in the house. We are sure they had planned to commit a string of dacoities in Sonarpur and its adjoining areas,” said Singh, adding: “We know the leader of this boy gang. His name can’t be disclosed for the sake of investigation.”
The Sonarpur police have started contacting the officials of Bhangore and Jadavpur police stations for a detailed report on the arrested boys.