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8 Feb 2017

Inter-state gang of robbers busted - Sakira used to work as maid and burgle houses in man's attire

Sakira Bibi at Islampur police station. Telegraph
TT, Raiganj, Feb. 7: Police today said a woman arrested a few days back for robbery was the leader of a gang of at least seven burglars associated with 10 thefts in Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Sakira Bibi, who claims to be a 35-year-old from Bangladesh, had been arrested from Matikunda village under Islampur police jurisdiction on Saturday. She was held in connection with a robbery at a businessman's house in Murshidabad district on February 2, along with six men, including her husband.
"After Sakira's arrest, police teams from Jharkhand and Bihar have arrived in Islampur. When they interrogated her, she disclosed her modus operandi, which left us stunned. In recent times, we have not come across a gang of criminals headed by a woman. Sakira is the leader of the gang that has at least six-seven members, including her husband Abdul Kashem. She can speak in Bengali and Hindi," said a senior officer of North Dinajpur police.
The police have come to know that Sakira formed the gang about a year ago and since then, it has been committing robberies in the three states.
Soon after the February 2 Murshidabad theft, the police arrested three men, from whom the investigators learnt about Sakira. The North Dinajpur police managed to trace her cellphone and tracked her down to Matikunda. Sakira, Kashem and two others were arrested.
During the probe, the police found that Sakira and Kashem used to change towns and cities frequently.
"The couple would initially move to a town and take a rented accommodation in a slum. Kashem would visit affluent localities, posing as a salesman of toys. In this way, he would come to know which house needs a maid. The gang would zero in on a prospective house for robbery and Sakira would get there as a maid," said a police source.
Sakira then collects information from the family about cash and valuables kept at the house. "At a right time, she and her gang members would burgle the house. Sakira would change her attire and put makeup to pose as a man while committing the crime. She is so daring that even after the burglary, she would continue to work at the same house as the maid to avoid any suspicion," said the police source.
The gang had carried out robberies in Rajmahal in Jharkhand, Sultanganj in Bihar, Islampur, Debidanga near Siliguri and Kaliachak in Malda in the past one year.
"After the Murshidabad burglary, Sakira had come to Islampur to carry out similar crimes. During interrogation, she said she was 35 and from Bangladesh. We are grilling her to know if more members are in her gang. The probe suggests that Sakira is the only woman in the gang that carried forearms during the operations," said a police officer.
Amit Kumar Bharat Rathod, the superintendent of police of North Dinajpur, said the investigators were trying to know where the gang had stored the loot. "We need to know more about them and whether they have links with other criminal groups. We also suspect they have links with drug smugglers as we seized around 25kg of cannabis from them," Rathod said.

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