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House looted; owner hurt

THE YEAR 2006 saw an inauspicious start, with dacoits striking at the house of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) sub-engineer Madhukar Janardhan Pendse in Sainkripa Colony late last night.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 14:06 IST

THE YEAR 2006 saw an inauspicious start, with dacoits striking at the house of Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) sub-engineer Madhukar Janardhan Pendse in Sainkripa Colony late last night.

The dacoits broke into the house at around 2.30 am after prying open the grill of a window hinged on screws. Two dacoits entered the house and hid behind the sofa kept in the drawing room, as their entry was detected by the house owner’s German Shepherd dog, whose barking woke up the couple who were alone in the house at the time.

Their only son, who was to leave for the United States soon, was sleeping over at his friend’s house in Bengali Colony where he had gone to study. Pendse’s wife Sulbha woke up first and looked out of the bedroom window. On sensing something wrong but seeing nothing, she asked her husband to investigate.

Her husband then went to the drawing room and the dacoits, who thought they had been detected, attacked him with a butcher’s knife. Pendse was hurt on the back of the palm. Meanwhile, one of the attackers opened the main door letting in four accomplices standing guard outside.

The seven dacoits, masked in monkey caps, then asked for valuables and keys to the safe. When told that they were with the woman of the house, they ordered her out of the bedroom. They also warned the couple to silence their dog, as they feared that his barking would wake up the entire neighbourhood.

In the meantime, a mobile police patrol van belonging to the Khajrana police station also passed by flashing beacon light but the couple, who were overpowered by the dacoits and having knifes pressing on their throats, could not utter a word.

The dacoits then ransacked the house, but found only a few thousand rupees in cash beneath a pillow. They then forced Sulbha to part with her tops, ‘mangalsutra’, necklace bangles and mobile phone. The dacoits also took the keys to the car and motorcycle parked in the patio.

One of the dacoits tore a curtain and bound and gagged the couple. They continued their rampage for about two and a half hours and left only when Pendse, whose hand was bleeding profusely, feigned dizziness. Before leaving, the dacoits cut the telephone wire, wiped off their hand and foot prints.

They warned the couple that the incident should not be reported to police and added that if they saw anything about the incident on the TV they would blow up their house.

While, six of the dacoits escaped out the main door, one remained behind to lock it from the inside and escaped by climbing down the pipe from the roof top balcony. The dacoits, however, did not take the vehicles.

The couple then managed to shout for help and the guard of the neighbouring house freed them. Pendse drove to the Bhandari Hospital and also informed the Vijay Nagar police. As his house fell under Khajrana police station, the Vijay Nagar police informed them.

CSP Jitendra Singh and the Khajrana police station in-charge rushed to the spot. Singh said that the dacoits seemed to be locals and had taken the car keys and mobile so that they could not be followed. The police have some clues are working on them.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 14:06 IST