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Odisha: Bhubaneswar Medicine Store Owner Among 6 Held for Drugging, Looting Passengers

The gang mostly targetted passengers travelling from far off places to the State capital for the first time.

Bhubaneswar: Six members of a criminal gang which looted passengers at bus and train terminus in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack by spiking their drinks were rounded up by the Commisionerate police on Saturday.

Incidentally, the arrested accused include the owner of a medicine store in Bhubaneswar who supplied the stupifying prescription drugs to the footsoldiers of the gang without reference.

While addressing a presser, Twin City Police Commissioner Saumendra Priyadarshi said that two receivers of the stolen property are also among the arrested accused.

“The gang mostly targetted passengers travelling from far off places to the State capital for the first time. After striking a rapport with the unsuspecting travellers, the hoodlums would loot them by offering spiked drinks and food,” said Priyadarshi.

A senior Commissionerate police officials said that a Special Squad was on the lookout for the gang after three cases of drugging and loot were reported in Bhubaneswar this year. As many as 11-12 such cases had been registered in the Twin Cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar last year.

After protracted surveillance and inputs received from informants, the sleuths identified the footsoldiers of the gang and they were rounded up subsequently, the official said.

Police said three gold chains weighing 40 grams, 18 strips of medicines (sedatives), one motorcycle, six mobile phones have been recovered from the gang members. The medicine store owner and the two receivers of the stolen property were subsequently arrested after their link with the arrested accused emerged, the official added.

Meanwhile, Priyadarshi has appealed passengers to stay away from strangers and not accept any food or drink from them. The senior official also warned medicine stores not to provide sedatives without a certified doctor’s prescription.

“In view of the spurt in such loot cases, we urge medicine store owners to insist on prescription whenever someone asks for such controlled drugs which are administered/consumed under medical supervision,” Priyadarshi added.


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