Lens on Cuttack security measures

Three robberies in two months, police rule out link

A forensic team inspects the crime site at Madhupatna in Cuttack on Sunday. Picture by Badrika Nath Das

Cuttack, July 19: Two cases of robbery in Markatnagar and a recent one in Madhupatna here has sparked doubts among residents about the security measures in the city.

A gang of robbers broke into the house of a cinema owner late last night, tied him up and two of his family members and fled with gold ornaments and Rs 4.5 lakh in cash.

The victim, Jasawanta Debata, is the owner of Samrat Talkies at Madhupatna here. The robbers, who spoke in Telugu and Hindi, had entered the house behind the cinema hall around 3am after breaking open the door.

Debata said the six to seven robbers, who were armed with katari and other sharp weapons, had their faces covered.

"They took away our mobile phones. Then, they broke the cupboard, took the cash and ornaments and searched the entire house," Debata said.

"The FIR reads that the robbers had taken away around Rs 4.5 lakh in cash and 22 bharis (around 250 grams) of gold ornaments. Investigation is on. We hope to nab the culprits soon," deputy police commissioner Sanjeev Arora told The Telegraph.

Debata's wife Subhasini said: "They tied us up to the bed and asked us to hand over cash and ornaments. They even asked me to take off the gold bangles I was wearing and took them away."

Their son Jajati said the robbers also manhandled him.

The police suspect the involvement of local residents in the robbery. They also ruled out any similarity in pattern with this case and the two recent ones at Markatnagar.

Earlier on May 29, a gang of robbers had broken into the house of a retired high court judge at Markatnagar, tied up the family members and fled with gold ornaments and cash. A week later on June 7, another gang of robbers looted cash and ornaments from a lawyer's residence in the same area.

"Though the modus operandi appears to be same, there seems to be no connection between this case and the two at Markatnagar," said a police official.

The incident has raised questions about the security measures around the Samrat Talkies, which is near Madhupatna police station. "If such an incident can take place so close to a police station, how can people feel secure in other areas in its limits?" said Kalyani Nagar resident Ashok Mohanty.


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