Commandos search for suspects at Hyderabad apartment
Commandos of Telangana Police's anti-terror squad searched for armed suspects at a residential complex here but made no arrests, police said on Wednesday.
Over 300 policemen, including commandos from the Organisation for Counter-terror Operations (Octopus), participated in the night-long operation at Happy Homes Towers in Rajendernagar.
Armed personnel searched over 700 flats in all nine blocks of the apartment for the gang which was suspected to be hiding there after an unsuccessful bid to rob Muthoot Finance branch in the same area on Tuesday morning.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Gangi Reddy said no arrests were made during the operation. He said since the suspects were armed, Octopus was called in to prevent any loss of life.
He said 20 teams had been formed to track down the robbers, suspected to be six in number. "We have got some clues after scanning CCTV footage from different places and hope to achieve a breakthrough soon," the official said.
The apartment was cordoned off by the police on Tuesday night after a watchman noticed unidentified men breaking the number plate of a Cherolet Tavera car. They escaped after he raised an alarm.
The same vehicle was used by a gang which tried to rob Muthoot Finance branch in the same area on Tuesday morning, the police said.
Suspecting that the armed men could be hiding in the apartment, Cyberabad police surrounded it and called in the Octopus.
Involvement of a gang from Gujarat was being suspected as the vehicle was originally registered in that state. The gang had used a fake registration plate of Telangana.
The gang had struck at Muthoot Finance branch at Mailardevpally on Tuesday morning soon after the branch opened for transactions.
While two men engaged in conversation with the staff, two others posing as customers entered the cabin of the Manager and whipped out pistols and demanded gold and money, the police said.
As the Manager screamed and a woman employee pressed emergency alarm, the owner of the buildings and others rushed in to help. The gang members, who were also carrying daggers, threatened them and escaped.
Later, the arrival of armed commandos for the massive operation sent the residents of the area into a tizzy. Many flats were evacuated as a precaution.
Police said the suspects used a vacant parking space to park their vehicle.
Two policemen were shot dead by two men suspected to be robbers at a bus station in Nalgonda district in Telangana on April 2, 2015.
Two days later, the assailants, said to be members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were gunned down by police. A policeman was killed and three others were injured in the gun battle.