Two men who were allegedly part of a gang that had robbed a woman in a running autorickshaw near Girish Park while she was returning home on a rainy night last month were arrested on Tuesday.
Police said the auto in which the Howrah resident had been robbed on August 21 was stolen and had a fake number plate. The discovery has triggered suspicions among cops that the woman was not the only victim of the gang.
The two who were arrested on Thursday were Imran Khan, 28, a resident of Narkeldanga, and Mohammad Huzaifa, 24, who lives on Canal East Road. The police said they had seized the auto from Khan's house, while the woman's cell phone was found in Huzaifa's possession.
"The auto was stolen. We have seized two fake number plates from the arrested duo. We suspect the gang used to operate the auto to rob passengers," an officer of the detective department said.
Last week, a man named Nilanjan Kundu, a resident of Jatindra Mohan Avenue, had been arrested in connection with the crime.
On August 21, the woman had hired the auto from Park Circus to Esplanade around 11pm. On reaching Esplanade, she offered more money to the auto driver if she ferried her till Howrah station, from where she would have found it easier to reach home.
The driver agreed and drove towards Girish Park down Central Avenue. While approaching Girish Park he suddenly slowed down and let two men board the vehicle, ignoring protests by the woman.
One of the men sat to the driver's left and the other beside the woman.
According to the complaint the woman had lodged with Girish Park police station, the men snatched her gold chain, mobile phone, PAN card, voter identity card, two ATM cards and Rs 5,500 before forcing her out of the auto.
Police said Khan was driving the auto. The man who sat beside the woman has been identified as Huzaifa. Kundu, the police said, was sitting beside Khan.
"It was getting difficult to track down the auto and the gang because they were using fake number plates. The three-wheeler does not ply on any specific route," an officer said.
Sources said there were several other autos running with fake number plates.