Police have busted a gang of robbers who targeted jewellery and pawnbroker shops in Tamil Nadu to fund Maoists in West Bengal and Jharkhand.
Police found that the robbers — Mithun Mandal from Khantor Tola village in Maldah district in West Bengal, Safiqul Islam and Firoz Aalam of Palaskatchi village in Sahibganj district, Jharkhand — had handed over the stolen valuables to the Maoists when they returned to their hometowns. “On inquiry, it was found that they had come in groups of 10-15 persons and split into two to three smaller groups and struck at jewellery showrooms and pawn broker shops. The inquiry revealed that Amir Sheikh of Sahibganj was collecting the stolen articles and handing them over to the extremists,” said a police officer.
A special team, which was on its way to Vellore, had a tough time when they took the three robbers to recover the stolen items from their hometowns.
“We dressed the trio like women to hide their identity and ensure their safety when they were taken to Sahibganj to secure Amir Sheikh,” said a source, citing an update given by the special team to Superintendent of Police (SP) A Kayalivizhi.
Though Jharkhand SP A Vijayalaxmi provided a team to the Vellore police to track Sheikh, the joint effort was futile as he was absconding for more than a month. “The locals gheraoed the police officials when they went in search of him,” said the officer and added that it was the second attempt by the team to nab Sheikh.
“The Special Team is on its way to Vellore and they will reach here on Thursday evening or Friday morning,” the officer added.