Nine members of "Devipujak" gang, including a woman, allegedly involved in at least seven cases of loot-cum-murder and a string of robberies in Gujarat have been arrested from Lathidad village in Botad district, police said Tuesday.
According to police, the gang members, who all related to each other, were involved in crimes like loot-cum-murders, theft and robberies in the districts in Saurashtra region and Ahmedabad.
Amreli Deputy Superintendent of Police M S Rana said the Special Operations Group (SOG) stumbled upon the crime profile of the gang members while interrogating them in connection with a robbery case in the district.
"Amreli SOG had arrested them in connection with a case of robbery in the district, but further interrogation revealed that they were involved in several cases of robberies since the last two years in which seven victims were killed," Rana said.
Explaining the modus operandi adopted by the gang, an SOG official said they would target the people wearing jewellery and sleeping outside their houses.
"Members of the gang would first conduct recce to zero in on their target and strike during night. They would attack the victims with blunt objects while they are asleep before robbing them off their valuables. At least seven persons have been killed in such manner," he said.
On the night of June 9, the gang attacked one Dahyabhai Bharwad and his wife when they were sleeping outside their house in Dared village in Amreli district, the official said, adding that the couple was seriously injured in the attack.
The attackers had walked away with jewellery worth Rs 1.52 lakh.
The official said all the accused are related to each other.
The main accused, Chandu Jhiliya, and his wife Ujiben would team up with their sons, sons-in-law and other relatives to committ robberies, he said.
Police have recovered jewellery, motorcycles, weapons and other objects worth Rs 4.93 lakh from the possession of the accused who are prima facie involved in at least seven cases of loot-cum-murder, five cases of loot and four instances of theft in the districts of Amreli, Surendranagar, Bhavnagar, and Ahmedabad.
One of their victims was a 100-year-old woman who was attacked and robbed in Surendranagar district's Padra village, police said, adding that the woman later succumbed to head injuries.
In another case, also reported from Surendranagar district, one Raisangbhai and his wife Jamniben were fatally attacked when they were asleep at their farm.
Police are investigating whether the accused are involved in more such cases.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)