The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ex-servants in dacoity

A gang of four turned up on Friday afternoon, made its way past a group of securitymen to the seventh floor of a Shakespeare Sarani highrise and carried out a robbery — all just a stone’s throw from the police station.

The dacoits swooped down on the apartment of Kishan Chand Kothari, 49, a cloth merchant, looted cash and jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh and injured his wife Sushma, 39. No one has been arrested, though police said late on Friday that the culprits had been identified and a hunt was on.

The dacoity was committed at around 2 pm at Ganga Jamuna, 28/1, Shakespeare Sarani, a 10-storeyed building with 80 apartments. Police said the group of four, two of whom had earlier worked as servants in the Kothari home, knocked at their door. As Sushma opened the door, they barged in.

Kishan Chand, their 11-year-old son Deepak and a maid were at home, while Kishan’s father and his other son were out, police said. The goons herded everyone into the bedroom and looted the cash and jewellery. When Sushma tried to resist, she was roughed up. “One of the servants worked with the family 10 years ago, the other six years ago,” said Subrata Ghosh, inspector in charge of Shakespeare Sarani police station.

Security personnel at the multi-storeyed building said one of the goons was still working as a domestic help in the flat above the Kotharis. “When the youths entered the lift, I did not suspect anything, as I knew them,” said liftman Rangalal Dina.

“This is the first time such a dacoity has taken place in our building,” said Bimal Khaitan, who’s lived at Ganga Jamuna for the past 27 years. “Despite the presence of private security personnel, such a daring dacoity was carried out. This has sent shockwaves through the locality,” he added.

A meeting of the Ganga Jamuna flat-owners’ association was convened on Friday night to discuss steps to beef up security.

“We are planning to introduce photo-identity cards for the servants but it is difficult to stop outsiders from entering our premises,” observed Khaitan. There are more than 10 offices in the building.

Inspector-in-charge Ghosh said although residents of the area have been urged to maintain photo-identity cards of domestics and keep a servant roster with the local police station, the response has been poor.

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