In A daylight robbery, six armed persons, including a woman, looted jewellery and cash worth Rs 50 lakh from a jewellery shop in Sector 5 of the Mansa Devi Complex after injuring the owner with a ‘khukri’ on Sunday afternoon. They also drove away the owner’s car.
The dacoits arrived in a white Chevrolet Cruz car around 3.30 pm and stopped outside Rajat Jewellers. While two of them, including a woman, stayed in the car, four others entered the shop. They all wore helmets and gloves.
Inside the shop, one of them hit Aashi Khanna, 60, with a ‘khukri’ at the back of his head, inflicting a bleeding injury. Then they tied the hands and legs and gagged the mouths of the owner and two workers at gunpoint. One of the robbers sprinkled red-chilli powder into the eyes of one worker.
The intruders then collected gold jewellery and cash and put it in bags.
They snatched the keys of Aashi’s Maruti Swift car and drove away. Before leaving, they damaged three CCTV cameras.
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Interestingly, the robbers did not touch silver jewellery. Also, they did not notice a fourth CCTV camera and left it undamaged.
Since it was a Sunday, most of the shops at the market were closed. However, a tea vendor saw four men coming out of the jewellery shop wearing helmets and realised something was amiss. He raised the alarm. On this, people started throwing stones at the two cars as these sped away.
Said Laddan Khan, a trainer at a nearby gym, “I think the wind-shield of the Swift was damaged. I had a narrow escape as one of the speeding cars almost hit me.’’
Rahul Sharma, DCP of Panchkula, said, “From the CCTV footage we have been able to identify that four robbers entered the shop.
Eyewitnesses saw two persons, including a woman, sitting in the car. The robbers seemed to be aware of where the cash and jewellery were kept.”
Sharma said the police in neighbouring Chandigarh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh had been alerted.
Gunjan Khanna, daughter-in-law of Aashi, stated, “Apart from the silver jewellery, the dacoits took away everything. An exact assessment of the loss can be given after cross-checking the details. But it seems we have suffered a loss of at least Rs 3 crore.”
She said they had not received any threats. “But given the way the robbery took place, there is a strong possibility that it was committed by someone who was aware of the family’s day-to-day routine,” said Gunjan.
Her suspicion was based on the fact that after committing the crime, the robbers walked straight to the owner’s car. Also, on entering the shop, they asked for Aashi’s son Rajat.
Aashi was taken to hospital. He was discharged after first aid.
Later in the evening, an FIR was lodged, which pegged the value of the stolen cash and jewellery at Rs 50 lakh.