Bengal Cop Dodges Bullets By 7 Robbers, Stops Rs 4 Crore Jewel Heist

Sub-inspector Meghnad Mondal (red circle) exchanged fire with the 7-member gang


A police officer’s bravery helped foil a Rs 4-crore robbery attempt by a seven-member gang at a jewellery shop in West Bengal’s Raniganj last week. Visuals captured by a CCTV camera right outside the shop show Sub-Inspector Meghnad Mondal exchanging fire with the robbers from behind an electric pole. West Bengal police, whose narration of the incident in thread on X is as dramatic as the visuals, have said at least 20 rounds were fired in the face-off before the robbers took flight leaving half their loot behind. One of the accused has been arrested and a search is on for the others.

The incident took place on Sunday afternoon when seven masked robbers, armed with pistols, a machine gun and a rifle barged into the prominent jewellery shop. The shocking entry left the shopowners and customers petrified. In a matter of minutes, the robbers had cornered ornaments worth over Rs 4 crore.

Their escape would have been easy if not for a coincidence. Mr Mondal, officer-in-charge of a police outpost, was in the neighbourhood for some personal work. He was in plain clothes, but was carrying his service revolver. The police officer noticed frenetic movements near the jewellery shop, the frightened faces of the people in the area and smelled a rat.

Mr Mondal took position behind an electric pole next to the shop and unlocked his revolver. Around this time, one of the robbers, who was keeping guard outside the shop, spotted him, alerted the others and opened fire. For the next 30-odd seconds, the police officer braved a volley of bullets from the robbers, firing back and taking cover behind the pole. One of his bullets hit a robber and he collapsed to the ground, injured. By now, the other robbers joined the shooting.

Mr Mondal held his ground, fearlessly returning the robbers’ fire. The criminals, overwhelmed by the lone officer’s bravado, decided to flee. They helped their injured partner get on a bike and rode away with about jewellery worth Rs 1.8 crore. In their haste, they left behind one of their bikes, nearly 2.5 crore rupees worth of ornaments, two backpacks and 42 rounds of fire.

But the police officer was in no mood to give up and started running after the fleeing robbers as the criminals keep firing. When Mr Mondal realised he can’t catch up with the two-wheelers, he informed police personnel in the vicinity. An alert was sent out to neighbouring Jharkhand too.

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The robbers, meanwhile, fired at a car’s driver and hijacked the vehicle. The driver and a pedestrian suffered injuries in the firing. By now, Jharkhand police had moved into action and managed to seize the vehicle and take Suraj Singh, one of the accused, in custody. Further probe led police to Sonu Singh, the robber injured in the exchange of fire with Mr Mondal. He was arrested from Bihar’s Siwan yesterday. According to Bengal police, they are questioning the two accused in custody and will track down the others soon. The loot will also be recovered, the cops have assured.

Mr Mondal, meanwhile, is carrying the heroic feat lightly on his shoulders. His service revolver is now empty and his bike has a bullet hole. Media reports have catapulted him to overnight fame in the small city, but when people are asking him to narrate the story, his reply is a smile, or a short sentence: “I just did my duty.”