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Gang using portable jammers to block cellphone signals busted in West Bengal

Police arrested three members of the gang which had targeted a bank dealing with gold loan at Chandannagar on Tuesday. One member is still on the run.
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Updated on Sep 23, 2021 03:31 PM IST

Police have busted a gang of dacoits who blocked mobile signals with portable jammers so victims couldn’t seek help or inform the police, at Chandernagore, around 50 km from Kolkata.

Police arrested three members of the gang which had targeted a bank dealing with gold loan at Chandernagore on Tuesday. One member is still on the run.

Police said that the four-member gang arrived at the bank on two two-wheelers sometime between 2pm and 3pm on Tuesday. The security guard at the gate was first overpowered and taken inside at gunpoint. The other members terrorised the bank officials with their guns. One of the bank employees, however, managed to set off the alarm.

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“When the information reached us, a team of officers from the local police station and some senior officers, including the deputy commissioner of Chandernagore, rushed to the spot. The area was cordoned off. But when we tried to contact our senior officers over mobile, we failed. No calls were going. Even SMS and WhatsApp were not working,” said a senior officer.

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The dacoits, on sensing that they were trapped, fire a few rounds even though police didn’t retaliate. One was arrested from the spot while the others managed to escape initially. Police swung into action and multiple naka checking points were set up at various exit points of Chandernagore to seal the fate of the other gang members.

“When our officers tried to contact me from the spot, while the incident was taking place, they failed. Later, we found that the gang had used a jammer,” said Arnab Ghosh, police commissioner of Chandannagar in Hooghly district.

Police found two jammers, improvised firearms from all three arrested members, 60 live cartridges and cutting tools. Three two wheelers have also been seized.

“Search is going on for the fourth accused because the bank manager told us that there were four persons. Most of the cash and a gold chain snatched from an employee have been recovered,” he added.

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