OTHERS

Spurt in dacoity cases a cause for concern

There has been an increase in the number of dacoity cases in Bangalore Rural District in the past one-and-a-half years. Seven cases were reported in 1999, and 31 in 2000. Already seven cases have been reported in the first six months of this year. Though the police claim that they have clues, they are yet to nab the culprits, writes K.V.SUBRAMANYA.

The number of dacoity cases reported during the last one month shows that Bangalore Rural District is prone to such attacks.

The dacoits attacked four houses in Nelamangala, Dhabspet, Magadi and Ramanagaram police station limits and made away with valuables after assaulting the occupants. The police have not been able to nab the culprits though they claim that they have some clues.

There has been an increase in the number of dacoity cases in the district during the last one-and-a-half years. Seven cases were reported in 1999, and 31 in 2000. Already seven cases have been reported in the first six months of this year.

In the four cases, the modus operandi of the gangsters has been similar. They entered the houses after breaking open the doors and made away with the booty. They assaulted the occupants and threatened them with dire consequences before leaving the spot. In all the cases, they used logs to break open the doors.

The Inspector-General of Police (Central Range), Mr. Neelam Achut Rao, said similar cases had been reported from Bethamangala police station limits in Kolar District and Nonavinakere in Tumkur District. The modus operandi of the gangsters was similar.

A ``dark and hefty person'' carrying a crowbar is the leader of the gang. In all the cases, the gangsters stopped assaulting the victims on his instructions. ``We have generated a portrait of the gang leader, and the victims in at least three cases have identified him,'' Mr. Rao said.

The gang, suspected to be from Andhra Pradesh, which included a woman, was now based in Bangalore. The gangsters burgled houses in the rural district and returned to the City. They came in a four-wheeler, Mr. Rao said.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police of Nelamangala, Mr. Kotrabasappa, under whose jurisdiction three dacoity cases have been reported, said the gangsters surveyed the area and checked the antecedents of the occupants of the houses before targeting them. He suspected that the gangsters operating in Bangalore Rural District should be a splinter group of a bigger gang.

Mr. Rao said the Superintendent of Police of Tumkur District, Mr. R.Hitendra, and his team were on the look out for the gang. The team was working in tandem with the Andhra Pradesh Police.

Meanwhile, the Additional Superintendent of Police of Bangalore Rural District, Mr. B.Shiva Kumar, said that police had information that a gang led by Venkatesh of KGF was behind the dacoities in the district.

Referring to the recent incidents, Mr. Shiva Kumar said normally dacoities took place between December and February, and from June to August.