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Gang kills college watchman

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, SEPT. 1. A gang of dacoits murdered a 60-year-old- watchman of Sri Jagadguru Renukacharya College (SJRC) on Race Course Road, assaulted two of his colleagues and took away cash early on Saturday.

The gang completely ransacked three office rooms in the college and broke open the locks of eight rooms. Although it was said that the dacoits attempted to break into the State Bank of Mysore's extension counter on the campus, police denied it.

According to police, three watchmen, employed by a private security agency, Ramaiah (60), Sreedhara Murthy (50) and Anjeneya (63), were in the premises when the dacoits struck around 2.30 a.m. The gang, which broke into the college through the rear gate, first attacked Sreedhara Murthy, a day duty watchman, who was fast asleep.

They tore Sreedhara Murthy's bedsheet, tied his hands and legs and gagged him before dumping him near a toilet. They assaulted the other two night duty watchmen, injuring them grievously.

The assailants ransacked the chambers of the Principal, Prof. Renu Kumar, and two rooms in the administrative block. Documents and cheque books were strewn all over the premises. A sum of about Rs. 2,000 kept for paying the electricity bill was taken away by the dacoits, police said.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. T.Madiyal, said the Principal had told him that no valuables were kept in the college.

Around 7.30 a.m, Sreedhara Murthy came to the main gate and told an autorickshaw driver about the incident. The driver informed the police control room.

The staff of the Hoysala-2, who rushed to the spot, freed Anjeneya, whose was tied up. They then found another watchman, Ramaiah, dead. Ramaiah, a resident of Kumara Swamy Layout, is suspected to have been strangled to death by the culprits.

Police suspect that the assailants had made good their escape through the rear gate as some cheque books and documents were found near the gate, which led to a vacant site, which had some vegetation.

The two shocked watchmen, who have been admitted to the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital, said that they were not aware of what happened after they were gagged and assaulted by the gang.

Sniffer dogs and finger print experts were pressed into service. Mr. Madiyal and the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central), Mr. Gopal B.Hosur, visited the spot. The High Grounds Police have registered a case and are investigating.

On the night of July 9, Muniswamy (59), a watchman of Sri Jagadguru Renukacharya College for Women, run by the same management, on Dr. Rajkumar Road was murdered.

Then too the assailants had ransacked the Principal's chambers, office room and library. Mr. Hosur told The Hindu that the modus operandi adopted by the criminals in the two cases was similar and the possibility of the same gang being involved in the crime on Saturday was not ruled.

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