Houses of Indian diplomat, three professors burgled in Trinidad

March 1st, 2009 - 1:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Port of Spain, March 1 (IANS) Robbers broke into the homes of an Indian diplomat and three professors here and stole jewellery and electronic equipment worth thousands of dollars, police said.

The homes of Indian High Commission Second Secretary (Culture) Santosh K. Mishra, University of the West Indies’ chair of Indian studies professor Rattan Lal Hangloo, animal life professor S. Kumaresan and Hindi professor Durga Prasad Singh were burgled between 11.30 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. Friday.

The victims, all residents of the posh St. Augustine housing complex adjacent to the University of the West Indies, were asleep during the thefts. They woke up Friday morning to find that their homes had been ransacked.

Police said the culprits are believed to have used sleeping gas as the victims said they had heard no noise or seen anything untoward that night but they reported a strange smell when they woke up.

Hangloo told reporters here that an undisclosed sum of US currency, a digital tape recorder, a pressure cooker, jewellery and his laptop containing valuable data were stolen. He said that he had undertaken several years of intensive research for three books which are currently being printed. All the material was in the stolen laptop.

Mishra said he was thankful that the thieves did not hurt anyone. He said his 16-year-old daughter Bhawana was asleep in her room but was not feeling well. When his wife Rita woke up to check on Bhawana, she found the house ransacked.

Trinidad and Tobago established diplomatic relations with India some 40 years ago and because of this initiative scores of Indian university professors, lecturers and diplomats are in the country from time to time.

It has been more than 15 years since the Indian government established chairs of modern Indian history and Hindi at the University of the West Indies.

Trinidad has traditional links with India since almost 148,000 people from the Asian nation were brought here by the British colonial government between 1845 and 1917 to work on sugar and cocoa plantations.

Over 44 percent of the population of 1.3 million people in Trinidad is of Indian origin.

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