Malda, Jan. 27: A sub-inspector was critically injured when he confronted a gang of dacoits on National Highway 34 in Old Malda in the middle of last night.
Sub-inspector Gopi Tudu was part of a police patrol that noticed a stationary India Tourism Development Corporation bus on the highway at 12.30 at night. According to the driver of the bus, Abhijit Chowdhury, a gang of 15 robbers had punctured its tyres by placing spikes on the road.
As the police jeep approached the bus, the dacoits started throwing bombs. Tudu suffered serious splinter injuries. The policemen retaliated, but the gang managed to flee.
Tudu was later admitted to the district hospital.
Chowdhury, who later lodged a complaint with Old Malda police, said the robbers had been looting the passengers when the police intervened. There were around 50 passengers on the luxury bus travelling from Siliguri to Calcutta.
Though there were claims that the gang had looted valuables and cash worth lakhs of rupees, district superintendent of police Dilip Mondal said the figure was nearer to Rs 50,000. 'We have found out that the dacoits were from Sujapur and Kaliachak areas. We have started raiding the possible hideouts and hope to arrest the whole gang soon,' he said.