Jewellery worth Rs 10 crore looted in Bihar’s Darbhanga, 20 rounds fired in air
About a dozen armed men decamped with diamond and gold ornaments worth around Rs 10 crore from a well-known jewellery shop in Bihar’s Darbhanga, in a daring daylight robbery on Wednesday, said police.
The robbers also fired more than 20 rounds in the air to intimidate the general public before fleeing with the booty.
Police said it was one of the biggest jewellery shop heists in the state in recent memory. The incident took place at Lath Market, situated in Bada Bazar area, barely 800 metres from the Town police station.
Police said six robbers entered the shop at around 10.30 am, posing as customers, while others took positions outside the shop. There were no other customers and only employees were present at the shop.
“Posing as customers, robbers entered our shop and asked us to show diamond necklaces. We did not notice anything wrong in their behaviour. All of them were in their mid-30s and were speaking in both Hindi and Bhojpuri,” said an employee of the shop.
One of the eyewitnesses, Santosh Kumar Lath, said the armed bandits fired two rounds inside the shop and asked the staff to hand over all gold ornaments and not attempt to raise an alarm. When the shop owners resisted their attempt, they hit them with pistol butts.
“They further threatened to kill the staff and owners if they did not cooperate,” said Lath.
“We were scared and could not dare to raise an alarm as the goons were holding their guns at us. We had to allow them to take away whatever we had and handed them the safe keys. They stuffed all the ornaments inside their bags,” said another employee.
According to local residents, the men escaped from the spot with guns held in the air to scare the crowd. As soon as the dacoits left, some passerby informed the police. A large police team led by SSP Babu Ram soon arrived at the spot.
Police officials said the accused had likely done a recce of the area including the shop before carrying out the heist.
The police were scanning the footage of the CCTV cameras installed in the market, while other police teams were conducting searches. Forensic experts and a dog squad have also been pressed into service.
A special investigation team (SIT) headed by the senior superintendent of police has been formed to crack the case. More than ten police officers have been included in the SIT, which is conducting raids in and around the state capital, said additional director general (ADG), (headquarters), Jitendra Kumar.