Police have found the perpetrators of the robbery case in Retired IAS officer Amarnath Chakraborty’s Salt Lake flat CE160 within 5 days from Friday afternoon when it happened. Among the six who were arrested, Sanatan Das, who worked in the Neighbor Rajkumar Sinha’s house, is the mastermind. The rest of the accused-Manoj Kr Das worked as a part-time cook at the house of Madhu Ja jodia (a relative of CE block’s Rajkumar) at CF 283, Pappu Yadav, delivered food to homes and offices in Salt lake. The other two, Raja Halder and Tapan Purkait pull vans at Keshtopur.
Sitaram was produced in a Salt Lake court with five others after being charged for allegedly plotting the robbery at CE 160 on Friday. Another accused, Rajesh Kr Yadav, worked at the same house as a cook. The duo have received 14days’ judicial custody. Police found inconsistencies in Sitaram’s statement. His interrogation led to the arrest of five others, while another person is still at large.
Police said Sitaram was impressed with how the next-door house looked and thought they kept a huge amount of cash and jewellery at home. Cops claimed Sitaram was the mastermind behind the robbery. He had planned the operation from the servant quarters on the ground floor of the house where he worked. The house shares a common wall with the Chakrabortys and Sitaram had allegedly showed the others the entry and exit points and the probable modus operandi by walking around the boundary two weeks ago. Taking advantage of the absence of Mr. Chakraborty, Sitaram and his crew started the robbery after tying Chakraborty’s two daughter and servant. The robbers allegedly bought the toy guns used from the Karunamoyee Rath mela.
Jewellery, silver utensils and foreign currencies together worth Rs 20 lakh were stolen from the almirah in the flat. The building was completed in 2000 and the Sinhas moved into the flat in 2001. The flat owners have not hired any guard, said a resident. “The lone caretaker could not be found in the building most of the time.”
“I was at my Salt Lake office and my wife was out, too, when the incident happened,” Rajkumar Sinha had said on Saturday. Nandita had left the flat around 12.30pm and returned at 1.45pm to find the padlock on the main door broken.
“They had attempted a heist a week back, but had failed. On Saturday, Sitaram and Rajesh, who had easy access to the Chakraborty’s house, entered through the main gate while the others scaled the walls,“ an officer said, adding that when police came to investigate, both Sitaram and Rajesh had gone into CE 160 with others in the neighbourhood to express concern.
According to the residence of CE block, Sitaram was the most helpful man they have ever seen, be it cleaning someone’s home, shifting furniture, paying electricity bills or fetching groceries from the nearby market. Most elderly residents of the area had the 30-year-old’s number in their contact list. Such was the trust in him that he could enter a home whenever he chose to.
“I cannot believe Sitaram has done it. He was like our own family member. He had ready access to our house and on several occasions had helped us in our household chores,“ said Namrata Chakraborty , who was held at gunpoint by the robbers on Friday .
Abhay Rajodia, Rajkumar’s son, said he had grown up with Sitaram since his early teens and the family had left home on several occasions leaving Sitaram in charge. “He seemed like such a nice man. I never knew he could be a cold blooded robber. He was with our family since I was in school,“ Abhay added.
According to cops, Sitaram and Rajesh were picked up from CE 161, Manoj was arrested from CF 283 and Pappu was also picked up from Salt Lake.Tapan and Raja were arrested from their homes. “Tapan and Raja fled from Keshtopur, which bolstered our suspicion and we picked them up from Kultali and Jhorkhali respectively,“ said Santosh Pandey , DC-DD, Bidhannagar Commissionerate.
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