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Two men arrested for robbery at Bhowanipore by ‘fake CBI’ team

Neighbour saw ‘two or three men’ loading bags in ‘Police’ car boot

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 14.12.22, 06:32 AM
The four-storey house in Bhowanipore’s Rupchand Mukherjee Lane.

The four-storey house in Bhowanipore’s Rupchand Mukherjee Lane.

Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Two men have been arrested in connection with the robbery at the Bhowanipore house of a businessman on Monday morning, police said on Tuesday. The police identified the two as Ranjan Chowdhury, 48, and Shantu Mollah, 35.

They were allegedly part of the gang that raided the south Kolkata house of Suresh Wadhwa posing as CBI officers and took away Rs 30 lakh and jewellery. “Ranjan, who was picked up from his home, was at the wheel of one of the three cars used for the robbery.


He was tracked down after a red Hyundai i10 whose image was captured by a CCTV camera was identified. The vehicle has been seized,” said a senior officer at Lalbazar. Based on his statement, the police said they rounded up Shantu from his house in Haridevpur’s Naskarhat.

Shantu is originally from Nadia district, north of Kolkata. Both were produced in the Alipore court on Tuesday and remanded in police custody till December 23. The officer said they were looking for the alleged mastermind and the other accused. The Wadhwas have reportedly told the police that seven men were involved in the robbery.

Sources at Lalbazar said the police were raiding various locations in Kotalpur and Bishnupur in Bankura district and Arambagh in Hooghly district, where the other gang members are suspected to have fled. The Wadhwa family has reportedly told the police that the gang had turned up at their home at 8.15am. Posing as CBI officers, the alleged robbers announced that a complaint had been lodged with the agency against the family, which runs a sari business.

“They started the ‘search’ citing a complaint against the business. The Wadhwa family said they were threatened with arrest if they resisted. The socalled search was carried out till around 9.30am, after which the men left in three cars,” the officer said.

The Telegraph visited the four-storey building at 1/6 Rupchand Mukherjee Lane — Roop Manor — around 500 metres from Bhowanipore police station on Tuesday afternoon. No one answered the door bell. Neighbours said the family occupies the second and third floors of the building and are the only occupants of Roop Manor.

“They hardly speak with anyone. They have two pet dogs but no one raised any alarm. We came to know about it (the robbery) much later,” said a woman who lives in the neighbourhood close to the busy Hazra-SP Mukherjee Road intersection. The peaceful neighbourhood, dotted with residential buildings, is often used as a “parking” lot by people who fail to park their vehicles on SP Mukherjee Road.

“So many unknown cars are parked here every day. So I did not suspect anything even when there were three cars (the ones used by the robbers) on the road,” said a resident of the locality. A next-door neighbour said she had seen a white Swift Dzire parked outside her house blocking her garage.

“The car was parked from 8.10am. It had a board with ‘Police’ written on it. The car was there till 9.40am. When my husband went to check the vehicle, he saw two or three men placing bags of various shapes and sizes in the boot of the car,” said the neighbour who did not wish to be named. The men, one of whom she said was wearing a sweater and another a jacket, shut the boot and confidently got into the car before leaving, she said.

Last updated on 14.12.22, 06:32 AM

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