Ranchi, July 16: Armed criminals posing as passengers hijacked a Calcutta-bound bus and robbed people on board in a Naxalite-hit area along NH-33 in Koderma district in the small hours of today.
Some passengers who had tried to resist the gang were manhandled.
Although police said that they were still assessing the total amount of money and valuables stolen, sources pegged the figure at Rs 10 lakh.
According to sources, the bus that regularly plies between Nawada and Calcutta, Bengal, left the depot at the usual time of 9pm yesterday. The robbers — around 12 in number — also boarded the bus from Nawada in the guise of ordinary passengers.
As the bus approached Gajhandi Road locality in the Tilaiya police station area, the gang overpowered the driver and other staff at gunpoint and forced them to drive to a remote forest area. Thereafter, they went on a looting spree.
“A complaint has been registered at Tilaiya police station. We are trying to assess the worth of valuables stolen. Though no casualty has been reported, it is true that several passengers were roughed up when they resisted the robbers,” said Koderma superintendent of police Sangeeta Kumari.
With the area being a rebel stronghold, DGP Rajeev Kumar also expressed concern. “I have asked police to nab the robbers at the earliest.”