Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Cuttack, Jun 8:
While the gang of dacoits that committed the daring robbery at the residence of former Odisha High Court Judge Justice PK Mohanty in CDA area here in the wee hours of May 30 had acted as per a meticulously chalked out plan to cover their tracks, what gave them away was the decision to use an ATM Card stolen in a previous burglary it had committed in Salepur.
“The dacoits were very smart and did not leave behind much clue. But they committed one mistake which helped us zero in on them: they chose to swipe an ATM card they had stolen during a burglary committed in Salepur at an ATM counter in Cuttack city,” Twin City commissioner Dr RP Sharma told media persons here this afternoon.
“We studied the robbery and dacoity incidents that took place in nearby areas in the recent past. We found a similar pattern in a Salepur robbery case and the one in the CDA armed robbery case. The investigating team pursued that case and got valuable leads that helped us nab the accused. After committing the crime in Salepur, the robbers had stolen ATM cards from the victims and swiped it in Cuttack city. Though the CCTV footage was hazy, the visuals provided clinching evidence to round up the accused,” Dr Sharma said.
The Commissioner said a team comprising personnel from the Quick Action Team (QAT), Special Squad and investigating officers from Cuttack UPD, supervised by Cuttack and Bhubaneswar Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), has cracked the high-profile robbery case at Justice Mohanty’s residence in CDA Sector 11 area in Cuttack on May 30.
As many as six out of ten accused, including the mastermind Ramakanta Parida alias Kalia (42), have been arrested Dr Sharma said, adding, the hunt is on to nab the remaining four culprits, who are still at large.
The other five accused have been identified as Pramod Samal and Manas Swain, both from Kendrapara, Deepak Sutar of Nemala, Mohammad Abdul Rehan of Salepur and Ramesh Pradhan, who helped in selling the gold.
Kalia, who has no less than 17 cases of robbery pending against him at various police stations in the state, was arrested from Chandikhol on the basis of information provided by four of his gang members during interrogation, Sharma said.
All 10 members of the gang met in Chandikhol on the night of May 29 to prepare the blueprint of the dacoity, two days after Kalia had done a recce of Justice Mohanty’s house in Sector 11, the commissioner revealed.
CDA on May 27 for reconnaissance and chalked out the plan to commit the dacoity. After the recce, all the accused had met in Chandikhol on May 29 and executed the plan on the wee hours of May 30.
Giving the modus operandi of the gang, Dr Sharma said, 10 people, including the driver, were involved in the robbery at the Judge’s residence. ”
The driver of the SUV place waited outside while the other none went in. After executing the robbery, the robbers spread out in two groups. While six people sped away in the waiting SUV, the other three drove the Judge’s car towards Bhubaneswar where they abandoned the car in Rasulgarh, he added.
The robbers regrouped and moved towards Badamba, Athgarh and Khuntuni to reach Chandikhol. They distributed the booty among themselves in Olasuni.
After continuous grilling, the accused admitted to have committed the dacoity at the Judge’s residence in Cuttack. Police have seized Rs 3.55 lakh cash, two gold bars weighing 230 gm and 70 gm respectively made after melting the stolen gold ornaments, a motor cycle used in the crime, seven mobile phones and four SIM cards from their possession, the commissioner revealed.