The Commissionerate Police on Monday night busted a looters’ gang and arrested five persons, including the kingpin Sandeep Das (28) alias Chimpu of Heragohiri Sahi in Puri district. One member of the gang, however, managed to flee, said police.
The arrested persons – Bhajamana Naik (24) alias Mental Muna and Pratap Pradhan (21) alias Pata, both of Kumuti Bagicha, Kanhei Charan Pradhan (21) alias Saru of Pradhan Sahi of Tikarpada, Sandeep Das, Bijay Kumar Mishra (23) alias Biju of Senapati Bagicha Sahi – all of whom belong to Puri district, were booked under Sections 395, 216 (A)/ 120 (B) of IPC and 25/ 27 Arms Act. They were forwarded to the court on Tuesday.
The police seized one car, a bike, gold ornaments and two country made pistols from their possession.
A manhunt is on to nab the culprit who is still at large, Chandrasekharpur police station IIC Rabindranath Satpathy said.
According to Satpathy, acting on a tip-off, the night patrolling team of the Commissionerate police, led by a sub-inspector, raided several places in Puri district late on Monday night and located the six-member gang near the Puri bus stand. While five were caught, one member gave the police the slip, he said.
On October 11 this month, some unknown criminals had entered the house of Ashok Pattanaik, a retired DGM of State Bank of India (SBI) staying at Plot number- 93 in Prachi Enclave in Chandrasekharpur area here. They attacked Pattanaik with knives and threatened his family members at gun point before looting Rs 1.5 lakh in cash and some gold ornaments. “Acting on a complaint lodged by Pattanaik the same day, we had conducted a manhunt to nab the culprits,” said Satpathy.
“After interrogating the nabbed accused today, we got to know that Sandeep is the mastermind, who was planned and executed a series of loots in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri over the last two years along with five of his accomplices. He used to pay 50 percent of the looted amount to his associates,” Sathpathy added.
Interestingly, Sandeep is a nephew of complainant Ashok Pattanaik. An MBA graduate, he has worked as an event manager in IFFCO Company. After leaving the job some two years ago, he formed the gang of six members to earn some quick bucks.
“We are astonished to find that my own nephew has committed such a heinous crime. He used to come to our house regularly but how could we have known that our own relative will betray us?” asked an incredulous Ashok Patnaik, Sandeep’s uncle.