The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lakh looted in nightmare ride
- Retired man stopped outside Salt Lake bank, slashed by duo in car and left on Sealdah flyover

Swaraj Das, 60, left his Nagerbazar home on Monday morning to withdraw Rs 1 lakh from a State Bank of India branch in Salt Lake. He returned home bleeding and bruised, robbed of the cash by two armed youths.

The retired officer of the state fisheries department was intercepted by the duo immediately after he stepped out of the SBI Sector V branch, around 11.10 am.

The two men, in their 20s, stopped Das at the point of a razor and a knife, got into his car and forced the driver to hit the road, from Salt Lake to Sealdah.

They hit Das with the knife butt and slashed him with the razor, while snatching his lakh. His driver, Jagdish Shaw, was also slashed on the neck.

When the car ran short of fuel and stopped in the middle of the Sealdah flyover, the two goons walked off with the loot, leaving the elderly man wounded and traumatised.

Das, a resident of Sneha Apartments, in Nagerbazar, had gone to the bank to withdraw the amount from the account of son-in-law Manas, who works for an Indian software company in Japan.

Das, who retired as assistant director of the fisheries department on January 31, walked to his car, with the cash stuffed in his trouser pockets, when the two young men stopped him.

The victim told officers of Muchipara police station that one of the youths covered him with a razor while the other, at knife-point, asked Jagdish to drive.

'One of them started beating me and demanding the money. The other rolled up the windows. Then both then pounced on me and hit me with knife and razor. I screamed for help. My voice obviously didn't carry outside,' Das told police.

After first trying to put up a fight, Das relented when he realised the goons would keep slashing and hitting him till they got the money.

After the two left with the loot at Sealdah, Das went to Muchipara police station and lodged a complaint. 'It appears the two youths knew Das would be visiting the bank at that time and withdrawing a hefty amount,' said an officer.

Driver Jagdish has been detained for interrogation. 'Curiously, the injuries on his neck are not deep,' the officer revealed.

But why the two goons decided to drive all the way from Salt Lake to Sealdah remains a mystery. Das's elder brother Sabuj told Metro: 'We are in the dark.'

Later in the evening, Das was taken to a local nursing home for stitches and medication on his wounds.

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