Four persons robbed of ₹32,000 at gunpoint on ghat road

Accused also took away their vehicle after forcing them to get down, say police

An armed dacoity reportedly took place on the ghat road in GK Veedhi mandal in Visakha Agency in the early hours of Monday in which about four persons travelling in a four-wheeler were robbed of around ₹32,000 cash. It is fourth such incident in the last two months in the area.

Additional Superintendent of Police (Chintapalli) Vidyasagar Naidu said the incident occurred when the victims were going from Darakonda to Visakhapatnam in a medical emergency case in a hired vehicle. Six armed dacoits reportedly stopped the vehicle by placing boulders on the road between 2.45 and 3 a.m. The dacoits reportedly brandished sharp-edged weapons and pistols. They disembarked the victims and took away the vehicle.

It may be remembered that three similar offences were committed within two days on the same road around the Sankranti festival period, in January.

The gangs have been operating with a similar modus operandi and as per the initial investigation, they hail from some villages in Malkangiri district in Odisha.

The ghat road from Darakonda to GK Veedhi mandal headquarters is thickly forested and pitch dark, after sunset.

They wait in the darkness for a lone vehicle and place big boulders to stop the vehicle. The moment the vehicle stops, they surround it and rob the passengers of their valuables by brandishing weapons.

The area is Maoist-affected and people are normally scared while travelling on this road after dark, said a senior police officer from GK Veedhi.

Convoy system

To tide over the problem, ever since the first case was reported, the district police have started the convoy system.

“We normally bunch up the vehicles plying on this route, especially after dark, at the checkposts. At least four or five vehicles are bunched up to look like a convoy and this has been functioning well, as it acts as a deterrent. But on Monday, there was a medical emergency and the passengers took the decision to leave in the early hours and the dacoits appear to have seized the opportunity,” said Mr. Vidyasagar.

In the four cases, property and cash to the tune of ₹1 lakh, were robbed.

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