NAGAPATTINAM: In a daring robbery, an unidentified gang decamped with Rs 2.88 crore worth of gold jewellery and Rs 2.29 lakh in cash from the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS) at Venmani village on Thursday night, after strangulating to death a 56-year-old staffer who tried to stop them.
According to sources, the cooperative society, located near Kizhvelur, caters to people from three villages and has more than 500 farmers as registered customers. On Thursday, two permanent staff of the society, secretary Kamaraj (56) and appraiser Ganapathy (46), were reviewing the records around 6.30 pm when two youth arrived on the pretext of servicing the anti-burglar alarms installed on the premises.
Even as the duo was engaged in conversation with the two officials, four youth barged in and all the six overpowered the officials. When Kamaraj tried to prevent them, the gang strangled him using a nylon rope and hung his body from the ceiling. Appraiser Ganapathy was beaten up, gagged and tied to one of the chairs.
After getting hold of the key to the vault, the gang decamped with Rs 2.88 crore worth of gold jewellery, plegded by farmers, and Rs 2.29 lakhs in cash stored there. Since the gang locked the PACS from the outside, police sources said, locals were not aware about the happenings inside. Around 8.30 pm, when a few locals passed by the bank, they heard the cries of Ganapathy . Upon peeping inside through one of the open windows, they alerted Kizhvelur police personnel. Subsequently Ganapathy was rushed to Tiruvarur GH. Four special teams comprising three Police Inspectors and one DSP have been constituted to nab the culprits.