Barely a week after the bank dacoity at Jyangra, in North 24-Parganas, an armed gang broke into a house in East Ichhapur, near Barasat, on Tuesday night and fled with cash and jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh.
According to police, a gang of 25 barged into the two-storeyed house of Uzir and Nazir Ahmed at around 1.30 am. Once inside, the gang split up into three groups. While two men stood guard at the entrance, a few held Nazir and his family members at gunpoint on the ground floor, where they were sleeping.
“The dacoits had covered their faces. Some of them whipped out revolvers, while the rest brandished choppers. A few of them ran upstairs, where my elder brother, Uzir, and his family were asleep,” recounted Nazir, who initially succeeded in misleading the dacoits when they asked him to show them his cash box. “I said it was stacked in a safe on the first floor. They believed me and went upstairs to search for it,” Nazir said.
A few minutes later, the men dragged Uzir down. When the brothers refused to hand over the keys to the safe, the dacoits fired at Uzir. The bullet missed him and Uzir fell to the ground.
“We thought they were going to kill us. As a last-ditch attempt to save ourselves, we jumped on the dacoits,” said Uzir. A scuffle ensued, during which the gang pulled out cash from a drawer.
Nazir managed to snatch a chopper from one of the men and attacked them. Soon, one of the fell on the ground after being hit with the chopper. Taken aback by the counter-attack, the miscreants took to their heels. To ensure a smooth passage for their injured companion, the goons hurled bombs and also fired in the air.
The men waiting outside the house, too, fired at the family members through the window, but the bullets missed their targets. By this time, neighbours who had gathered in front of the house chased the dacoits. The men fired back and sped off towards Basirhat in a Matador.
Uzir received an injury in his arm after one of the goons slashed him with a chopper. The police have recovered a revolver and 20 cartridges from the spot. An officer said the dacoits have been identified and are, perhaps, based in the Mina Khan area of Basirhat.
“We have received some vital clues about the gang and hope to arrest it soon. But from the nature of injuries suffered by the dacoits, it seems at least two of them will not survive,” said superintendent of police Basudeb Bag.