Home / India News / Amid Covid-19 lockdown, man pedals nearly 600 km on stolen bicycle to commit dacoity
Wanted in several dacoity cases in the past, a 30-year-old man pedalled nearly 600 kilometres during Covid-19 lockdown to avoid the police and commit yet another dacoity in West Bengal. He was arrested along with three other associates.
“Pritam Ghosh, the mastermind of the case, is accused in several other dacoity cases in West Bengal and Odisha. He seems to have fled from a jail in Odisha and was hiding in Bihar. We are trying to verify. Further investigation is on,” said Humayun Kabir, Police Commissioner, Chandannagar.
So far, an investigation has revealed that Ghosh had pedalled all the way from Basara village in Rajapakar area of Bihar to reach Uttarpara in West Bengal’s Hooghly district where he puts up at his in-law’s house.
“He chose to pedal because he could sneak into West Bengal easily. If he had come by bus in the guise of a labourer he would have been checked at the border. He thought he might get caught because he was accused in several cases. He got the idea to pedal from migrant labourers who travelled hundreds of kilometres on foot,” said a senior officer of the local police station.
After reaching Uttarpara on Wednesday, he called up his old friends with criminal past and formed a small gang. On Thursday and Friday, the gang did a reconnaissance of the area at least twice before looting the Union Bank around 3 pm on Friday, the police said.
“They were carrying firearms and looted around Rs 17 lakhs. Around 10 lakhs have been recovered. We have also seized one firearm. We are also trying to seize the bicycle which he used to come to Uttarpara from Bihar,” S Pattanaik, inspector-in-charge of Uttarpara police station said.
His three other associates – Sanjay Paswan, Sanjib Paswan and Tapas Das – have been arrested. Pritam’s wife and mother-in-law were also questioned as he was hiding in their house and also hid a portion of the loot there. Ghosh is the eldest and his associates were all aged between 25 – 30 years. They were all wearing masks during the dacoity and thought police won’t be able to identify them. While Ghosh was waiting outside the bank in a car, the associates entered the bank for the loot.
“It took him three days to reach Hooghly taking rests in between. He was running out of money and hence decided to loot a bank. But as it was a lockdown, he chose to pedal. He cycled all the way after stealing a bicycle. We are still interrogating him to get further details,” said Pattanaik.