Two dacoities that took place within a span of 24 hours on December 15 in Kochi have been cracked — and the three accused arrested from Delhi’s Seemapuri. To crack the case, the Kerala Police and the Delhi Police Crime Branch joined hands and used tactics such analysing the “call dump data” of the accused.
In both the incidents, a “nine-man group” carrying iron rods and country-made pistols broke into the houses in Kochi. The accused assaulted the house occupants, tied some of them with a cloth, and fled with jewellery, cash and electronic items.
Delhi Police identified the three arrested men as Arshad (21), Shahzad (30) and Roni (19). They were picked up from a slum in Seemapuri, police said, adding that efforts are on to nab the others. Kerala Police said the accused had set up a scrap shop in Kochi more than two years ago. “While two of them are from West Bengal, Roni is from Rakhine in Myanmar,” said a senior Kerala Police officer.
The Delhi Police team, led by ACP Sandeep Lamba and inspector Ashish Dubey, had analysed call dump data provided by counterparts in Kerala. “The data showed that some of the numbers were from West Bengal, whereas one was from Delhi and had been switched off. Two Kerala Police teams reached Delhi, while two other teams left for West Bengal,” said a senior police officer from the Crime Branch.
When police reached the slum cluster, the accused were missing. Police sources said they had received information about the presence of Kerala Police personnel and fled. The Crime Branch then spread information among locals that the Kerala Police teams had left.
A couple of days later, as the three accused returned to the cluster, they were intercepted by police. “They started a fight and tried to flee. Some locals joined in and started pelting stones at the policemen, and a police officer from the Crime Branch received an injury to the ear,” said inspector KG Anish from the Kerala Police.
Police recovered gold ornaments believed to have been stolen from the victims’ homes. Speaking to The Indian Express, the wife of a businessman from Kochi, who was held hostage inside her home in Ernakulam Town North for half an hour, said she was relieved but scared since some accused are still on the run.
“There were about nine people with their faces were covered. They entered after climbing a tree and used the branch to open the window latch. I was inside and came out after hearing a commotion, and found four men pointing a gun at my mother-in-law,” she said.
The woman said two men took her mother-in-law inside, tied her up and assaulted her with an iron rod. “Her finger was fractured. My father-in-law was inside the washroom and they beat him up too. They then snatched a gold necklace and two gold bangles,” she said.
After they fled with gold ornaments worth Rs 1 lakh, the group broke into another house in Hill Palace, 13 km away, and assaulted a man with an iron rod and injured his right shoulder. His wife was tied up and they fled with 450 gm gold ornaments, two mobile phones, a laptop and Rs 20,000.