Police on Tuesday claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough in the Narangarh Neelachal Gramya Bank robbery case on July 3, arresting three dacoits and four others while recovering a major portion of the loot.
The three have been identified as Bhagaban Sahoo and Munna Kar of Buguda in Ganjam district and Benudhar Barik of Nayagarh.
Two others members of the gang are still at large. Four persons, who allegedly helped the dacoits in escaping after committing the crime, have also been apprehended.
About 3.5 kg of gold ornaments and Rs 2.90 lakh cash has been seized from the gang members along with a mauser pistol and five live bullets, Khurda SP D N Gocchhayat said.
The five-member gang had pulled off a sensational heist, looting around 296 packets of gold ornaments and around Rs 7.78 lakh in cash from the bank in broad daylight.
They had barged into the bank around noon by hurling bombs and opening fire at the bank officials. They held the cashier and branch manager at gun-point and swept the strong room of the valuables and cash.
Even as police rushed to the spot and gave them a chase, the miscreants ditched their motorcycles and managed to escape into the nearby forest by hurling bombs at them.
Police said they were assisted in escaping by the arrested four other persons, who belong to Nayagarh.
As they emerged on foot from the forest, they were picked up by these four and taken on motorcycles to the safe areas.
“We got hold of one of those four first, who led to others as well as the dacoits. While three have been nabbed from different places in Nayagarh, Ganjam and Kandhamal, two others are still to be apprehended”, the SP said.
The dacoity was well-panned and backed up by strong reconnaissance. The planning and preparation for the brazen crime was done at a house in Sailashree Vihar, that had been taken on rent by Munna Kar.
The bombs were made in the house, IIC, Jankia police station, R C Sahoo said.