Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rourkela, Apr 9:
Entrepreneurship has taken a bizarre leap forward in Odisha’s Steel City, even if it has ended up on the wrong side of law.
A gang of inter-state robbers operating in the city inducts freshers on its payroll with a monthly remuneration ranging from Rs 10, 000 to Rs 15, 000 depending on the ‘skills’ and ‘expertise’ of the recruits. Like its counterparts in the corporate sector, the gang offers performance-linked bonus too!
The higher the booty, the higher is the incentive.
The gang of 12 mostly targets train passengers on a long-distance journey. Their ‘office’ hours begin at 10 pm when their trained eyes start scanning trains running through Rourkela Station. The Azad Hind Express, Bokaro- Aleppey Express, Gitanjali Express are the favoured targets of the gang. Taking advantage of the thin presence of people at the railway platform, they get into the passenger compartments and vanish with valuables in a jiffy while the travellers are asleep.
They execute their work with such meticulous planning and precision that passersby would mistake them for legitimate passengers.
After getting out of the railway station, they dump the loot articles at their Sardar’s (kingpin) house, which is used as the warehouse of these articles.
In case of any threat, they change the usual destination and dump the items at one of the kingpin’s relatives place near Malgodown area.
Following the established practice, the kingpin and his relative prepare a list of looted articles in front of the gang members. Items such as jewellery, electronic gadgets and other valuables are segregated and packed in cartons with utmost care.
The goods are transported to Kolkata by road in an SUV, said to be owned by the kingpin, where it is traded. The proceeds of the sale are thereafter distributed in equal proportion among the kingpin and the policemen, as their cut for looking the other way.
Interestingly, they have a branch office having around four members in Panposh area too. This branch operates on the Jamshedpur and Raigarh routes.
The gang, however, had a major setback about three months back when a member was apprehended by the Jamshedpur Railway police and spilled the beans on their modus operandi and other details during a videographed interrogation.
Meanwhile, a police personnel of Jamshedpur has allegedly uploaded the video on the internet.
After the video went public on the worldwide web, Rourkela police have arrested a member of the train robbery racket.
While the case has been dragging on and the statement of one of the arrested members is out in the open, it raises questions over police investigation as no further arrests have been made.
The kingpin of this gang is said to be residing in the Rourkela city in the area between Mahatab Road and Madhusudan Marg, sources said.