The Amboli police on Wednesday arrested four people, including a help, in a robbery-cum-hostage case at Meadows Apartment in Ramesh Nagar, Amboli, Andheri (West).
The accused have identified as help Bertha Rowna, her boyfriend Samir Khan, 29, Balkrishna Mishra, 20, and Ravi alias Shaina Shaikh, 20. They have been remanded in police custody till September 3, the police said.
According to the police, Khan and Mishra posing as courier boys barged into the house on the first floor of the building on Tuesday between 3 and 5pm. The house owner, Ranjan Datta, a content creator, and his wife, Chuman Das, 44, a former journalist, were not at home.
The burglars took Chuman’s mother, Oli Das, 69, and Rowna hostages and threatened them with a fake firearm and a knife. They tied up Oli.
Around 3.30 pm, the maid received a phone call from a bus attendant asking her to pick up Datta’s daughter Zehn, 5. Rowna returned with Zehn who too was taken as hostage. After acquiring ATM cars and its password, the captors asked the maid to withdraw money. She took out Rs30,000 and gave it to them.
Around 5 pm, Chuman returned home and saw that both doors were locked which was unusual.
She told Hindustan Times, “We always keep the grill door locked. I could hear my daughter’s shaky voice, saying ‘I can’t open the door.’ When the door was opened, they (the robbers) pounced on me and banged my head against the floor and wall. I started bleeding from the head. I told them that we don’t have money and they yelled back that they know we didn’t keep much money at home,”
She added that despite her screams nobody helped her.
“The neighbours and the watchman heard my screams, but none helped. It is impossible nobody heard me. Imagine the apathy and lackadaisical attitude of the residents who did not even care to respond to a mother’s scream.”
Meanwhile, her driver alerted neighbours.
Chuman’s brother Pritam Das said, “We got a call and I rushed to the spot with my colleagues. The police also reached there in five minutes.” The accused also assaulted the driver who came to Chuman’s rescue. The two accused got out of the back door, but residents managed to nab Khan and thrashed him. He alter spilled the beans on his accomplices.
Ravi, another accused, kept a close watch on the movement of people in the building.
The police have recovered the amount.
The domestic help had been working for the house for the last three years.