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Trio who targeted visiting traders in net

East Singhbhum district police have busted a gang of snatchers and arrested three members, who robbed outstation businessmen visiting the steel city, in the small hours of Monday.

Two pistols and ammunition were found on the trio who were nabbed during raids in Mango, Golmuri and Birsanagar. Search is on for a few other members of the gang that triggered terror in the steel city from January to May.

Senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amol V. Homkar confirmed the breakthrough, but said that identities of those arrested could not be disclosed at the moment.

“Acting on a tip-off, we arrested three persons who were involved in a spate of serial crimes in the steel city for the past five months. We have also confiscated two pistols and ammunition from them. Since search is on for other gang members, we cannot reveal any details right now,” said Homkar.

The senior officer, however, added that during interrogation of the arrested three it was learnt that there were around six members in the gang. Homkar said these men targeted traders who came from places such as Calcutta, Delhi and Ghatshila to the steel city on short business trips.

“The criminals are all local residents. Before preying on their victim, these men stalked the person and marked his movements. Then, when the opportunity was right, they attacked him at gunpoint. Some victims were even shot at during such rob bids. As the victim has always been an outsider and did not have many contacts in the city, he was an prey for the gang,” the SSP said.

Police are almost confident that the last three incidents of snatching in the city were carried out by none other than this gang.

Notably, two bike-borne men looted Rs 2.75 lakh from a Calcutta-based trader near Tata Pigment Limited on Jugsalai-Station Road on May 18 evening.

The incident took place when businessman Bhola Agrawal (40) was waiting for an auto-rickshaw.

The goons had snatched away the bag containing cash after assaulting the victim with a pistol.

In a similar incident, two men on a motorcycle took away a briefcase from an Amritsar-based trader, P.K. Poddar, by opening fire in Jugsalai on April 11. However, the briefcase did not contain any money.

On January 21, Rs 3 lakh was snatched from another Calcutta-based businessman from outside Tatanagar. Trader R.K. Agrawal fell victim to the rogues as he was about to enter the station to catch a train to Howrah.