In a new challenge for Delhi Police, some Bangladeshi criminals have turned to committing big time robberies in the national capital and fleeing by road or rail back to their country for a few months - before they strike again.
According to police, these Bangladeshis take rooms on rent in slum colonies. The women members of the gang work as maids in nearby neighbourhoods. The men, during the daytime, conduct recces of these colonies disguised as garbage collectors or scrap dealers.
"They mainly target colonies near rail lines. They hide in secluded places near railway tracks and enter the colonies at midnight. They rob the targeted house after cutting the window grill," Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Ajay Kumar told IANS.
The women associates, usually wives, manage to gain entry into the houses as maids on salaries lower than those of other maids in the area.
"The women pass on the information about easy entry points in the house and number of family members," Assistant Commissioner of Police (Special Staff) Virender Singh told IANS.
In houses where the women associates are not able to gain entry, the men count the number of cars parked to get an idea of the number of residents.
"They prefer houses situated in lonely places or near parks. They also target houses with low boundary walls," Virender Singh said.
According to the officer, the dacoits come equipped with sharp-edged weapons called 'chaapars' and country-made pistols or kattas.
"The Bangladeshi dacoits also link up with local criminal gangs at times," said the ACP.
"Initially, these Bangladeshi criminals used to commit burglaries. Now they have turned into dacoits. After barging into houses, they keep the family members hostage and flee with the booty. If anyone resists, they don't hesitate to kill," said the officer.
In April-end, a Bangladeshi criminal gang headed by Badshah, 30, who had a bounty of Rs.1 lakh on his head, got into the house of retired senior government official Sumer Kumar Dutta, a former director of prosecution, in east Delhi's Preet Vihar. It killed his son Animesh Dutta when he resisted the robbery.
The same gang of five members entered another house in east Delhi - the Anand Vihar residence of Dimple Kohli, wife of an industrialist. It robbed valuables worth Rs.1 lakh after holding her and her daughter Gunisha hostage at gunpoint.
"Badshah, who is involved in around 19 such cases, was arrested on July 8 from (Uttar Pradesh's) Badaun where he had gone to meet one of his relatives. He was forming a new gang after returning from Bangladesh in June," the ACP added.
Badshah's friend Tasleem, involved in around eight such cases, was also arrested in June, while his other Bangladeshi associates - Abu Said, Alamgir, Khaliq, Haroon, Chotu and Kalia - are absconding.
Police said they have fled to Bangladesh. The police are also searching for Badshah's Bijnore-based associates, Ansaar, Mazid and Rana.
The officer said the Bangladeshi gangs sneak into India with the assistance of professional touts who also help them in procuring arms in India.
"After committing two-three big dacoities they return to Bangladesh, wait for six to seven months, and enter India again. They prefer to travel to Bangladesh by bus or passenger trains where checking is minimal," said the officer.
"Besides New Delhi, these gangs are also operating in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and other cities of India. We don't yet know how many such gangs are in Delhi," added the officer.
According to him, the Bangladeshi criminals have managed to get voter ID cards, ration cards and driving licences in Delhi.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)