Half-a-dozen goons barged into a DL Block house in Salt Lake recently, breaking two doors, and tried to choke the elderly lady of the house. And all in broad daylight.
Uma Das Panisena lives alone on the first floor of her two-storey house at DL 210. “In 2017, we had rented out the ground floor to some tenants. They ran some computer-related business from there but it has been shut all through the pandemic. Now neither are they leaving nor are they paying rent,” says the 79-year old.
The break-in, she feels, was related to the tenancy issue. “At about 12.30pm on December 2, someone rang me up and asked me to open my door. They didn’t say who they were and so I flatly refused. Then they rang the doorbell and I saw six boorish musclemen at the door,” says Das Panisena.
When she refused to let them in, the men allegedly broke open the ground floor door and barged in. They broke the meter box too, by when an alarmed Das Panisena had started climbing down the stairs. “They broke open a second door that led to the upper floor and caught me on the staircase. They abused me, caught me by the neck, asked me not to make a sound and then forced me back up to my floor and locked me from outside,” says the frightened lady. Das Panisena shouted that she would call the police, which she did, but the ruffians had fled by the time the police arrived.
According to an officer of the Bidhannagar East police station, they had despatched a team to the DL Block address as soon as they received a distress call from Das Panisena. “We had asked the patrolling team on duty to respond to the call. They had reached within minutes after we received the call. However we found nobody. We spoke to the lady and have taken her complaint and have started an investigation into the matter,” the officer said
According to another officer, the elderly lady has not been able to identify anyone and they are trying to find out who had actually landed up at her house. “She had some issues with her tenant and we are probing that angle. We have spoken to neighbours but neither her house nor any house nearby has CCTV cameras that could have helped us identify the men,” said the officer.
According to him, they are scanning cameras on the main road around the time when the woman told them that the men had come to her house to try and trace them.
General secretary of DL Block’s residents’ association Krishna Prasad Saha says the incident is not a dacoity. “The lady is a senior citizen and a widow whose children live out of town. We always take special care of such residents but this is a case of tenancy problems and she should take the matter to court,” he said.
Either way, the lady says this is a security threat. “They dared do this just because I live alone. I am a member of Saanjhbaati (a Bidhannagar Police initiative to connect with elderly citizens) but they asked me to mail the commissioner.”
Additional reporting by Snehal Sengupta
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