The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Residents work, robbers play
- Hole in Salt Lake house

Living next door to a police station is no guarantee of safety in Salt Lake.

A gang of burglars raided SA 150 — a shout away from Bidhannagar (east) police station — on Tuesday afternoon, smashed a portion of the bathroom wall and decamped with cash and jewellery worth over Rs 1.4 lakh.

“I left home around 10am for office and my wife went to Barasat to meet an ailing relative. When she returned home, she found a hole in the bathroom wall and the bathroom door open,” said Manoranjan Ghosh, a CMDA employee.

His wife, Champa, rushed to the first floor and discovered that their bedroom had been ransacked.

“They broke open the chest in the bedroom and took away around 140 gram of gold jewellery, some silver items and Rs 7,000 in cash,” said Champa. “I had kept the gold ornaments at home for a family function,” she added.

The raiders did not touch other valuables like the personal computer and some showpieces in the other rooms.

What shocked the Ghosh family — and also the cops — was the daring manner of the daylight robbery.

The operation was conducted between 11.30am and 4pm.

“A part of the five-inch-thick wall of the bathroom was smashed in to make an entry point. A stool discovered inside the bathroom could have been used to enter and then leave the house through the hole in the bathroom wall,” said Manoranjan, wondering how the burglars could carry out the operation without attracting any attention.

Not just the police station, the Ghosh residence is very close to the SA Block autorickshaw and rickshaw stands.

“The neighbour’s house was empty as they had left for office… Probably the dense shrub, to the left side of our house, acted as a shield as they smashed in the wall,” reasoned Ghosh.

The daylight burglary within five days of a shootout in AB Block — following an attempted break-in — adds to the growing sense of insecurity among Salt Lake residents.

“We have already arrested two persons… We are expecting to crack the case very soon,” said Supratim Sarkar, the superintendent of police, North 24-Parganas.

Though the cops are looking at various angles, the Ghosh family has ruled out one of the most obvious possibilities.

“We are just three members in the family and our son lives in a hostel in Kalyani, where he is studying MBA… We do not have domestic help. So it was not possible for any insider to mastermind the operation. It seems someone keeping a watch on the house had tipped off the burglars,” said Manoranjan.

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