The sub-inspector’s house (circled in red) at Nayabad surrounded by empty plots. Picture by Anup Bhattacharya
Burglars broke into the New Garia house of a Calcutta police sub-inspector early on Thursday while the family was away, underlining once again the need for better policing on the city’s fringes.
Sub-inspector Anjan Sen’s house at Prantik Pally in Nayabad, one of several sparsely populated but fast-developing pockets on the southern fringe, is surrounded by empty plots. The nearest building, South East division deputy commissioner Basab Dasgupta’s house, is under construction.
Sen, 32, and his family were in Vellore when the burglars broke seven brass padlocks and ransacked the house, around 2km from New Garia Metro station, on Thursday. The burglars, however, went back almost empty-handed.
The break-in occurred between 4.30am and 7.30am while a milkman, who was looking after the single-storey house in the owner’s absence, was away on his morning rounds.
A newspaper vendor found the main door open and two locks lying broken on the floor. He alerted neighbours, who called the police. “Around 7.45am, I received a call from a local resident. I returned in 20 minutes to find the doors ajar and the rooms ransacked,” said milkman Santosh Dey, who had the keys to the main door and one of the rooms.
Dey said the main gate was locked but the locks on a collapsible gate and a wooden door behind it were broken. So were the locks of the rooms. The furniture and two almirahs had been ransacked. The garage, where Sen’s car was parked, was untouched.
“I gave my brother a detailed description of the house over the phone. He said there was nothing valuable in the almirahs or the rooms. Some decorative items and some silver and ornamental jewellery may be missing,” said Tamasi Bardhan, Sen’s sister.
“We spoke to the officer but we can get a better idea once he is back,” said a senior officer of south suburban division.
The burglary highlighted the lack of security in the fringe areas with their poorly-lit streets. A gang had barged into the house of green energy expert S.P. Gon Chaudhuri at Madurdaha, around 3km from Nayabad, in September.
A new police station, Panchasayar, has since been carved out of Purva Jadavpur police station but residents of the area say there has been no increase in patrol.