‘WE USED to pay Rs 300 per head for entering India and Rs 400 for leaving the country. Usually a broker brought us and the BSF at the border used to count our numbers and let us in.’ If the four Bangladeshi dacoits, who have been arrested and brought to Indore for interrogation for their involvement in the Scheme No 78 dacoity, are to be believed it is that simple to enter the country.
Police officers questioned Jahangir, Rajju, Inayat and Mahidul late into the night and learnt that the gang leader was Abul, while the Number Two was Jalal, and the third most important person was Farooq. All the three are in custody of the Bhopal police, and the four who have been brought here only had a secondary role. Abul and Jalal used to decide where they would strike and how they would escape.
The main three will be brought to Indore within a couple of days, police sources said. Of all the gang members only Abul and Jalal know Hindi and the rest do not, and throughout the robbery they did not speak. Perhaps they had learnt from past experience that by speaking they gave away the fact that they were Bangladeshis or from West Bengal.
Interestingly, while they committed the crime, Abul used to chew gum and smoke Wills cigarette – and a cigarette butt was found in the house at Scheme No 78. Of the gang members Mahidul is a driver. He used to drive an ambulance in Bangladesh and his job was to drive the getaway vehicle. Abul is married to Fatima, who has also been arrested by Bhopal police. Her job was to cook for the gang members and also create a good rapport with her neighbours and tell anyone who cared to hear that her husband and others in the ‘family’ were ‘zari’ workers. Since many Bengalis are experts in ‘zari’ work, this alibi was easily believed.
In the interrogation so far, police have not found any evidence of their involvement in the dacoities that took place in Indore last year. However, the involvement of the other members is not being ruled out.
The gang members who had struck at Scheme No 78 had come by bus to Indore. They had got down before Patel Motors. They had walked into the opposite lane that led to the house of Dabhare family. They had spent some time lying low in the open plot near the house. Later they had crossed over and spent some more time at another open plot near the house, and had struck at night. All the accused had been instructed not to touch anything or speak to anyone, which they strictly followed.