IN A sensational daylight robbery, six armed men robbed Rs 1.33 crore from an Axis bank cash van from near a private university on Banur-Rajpura road on Tuesday morning. The robbers fired indiscriminately and also injured one of the security guards sitting inside the cash van. Patiala police started the investigation and sounded an alert in neighbouring Haryana and Chandigarh, officials said.
According to the police, the incident took place around 9.45 am near gate number 3 of Chitkara University when the robbers stopped the cash van on a narrow road. Two vehicles — a Honda Amaze car and a Scorpio — were following the cash van from Sector 34, Chandigarh, where the cash was loaded into the van to be delivered at Rajpura and Patiala branches of the bank.
Aman, an eyewitness, said that the Scorpio was going ahead of the cash van while Honda Amaze was behind it. Then, suddenly, the Scorpio driver, who was alone, stopped the vehicle and five men who were carrying three double barrel guns and a pistol got off from Honda Amaze car and started firing at the cash van. “One of them fired a bullet on the cash van’s tyre and punctured it. The other three pointed their guns at the security staff sitting inside the cash van and asked them not to move. One of the security guards tried to move. Probably he tried to pick his weapon but one of the robbers shot at his arm,” Aman added.
Sukhwant Singh, another eyewitness, said that the robbers also had a big cutter and one of them cut the chain with which a trunk carrying cash was fastened and they loaded the trunk in the Scorpio car. One of the robbers also threatened the bus driver of Chitkara University which was stranded in the traffic jam by pointing the gun towards him and told him not to move the bus.
“At the time of robbery, the traffic was halted as it is a narrow stretch and the road construction was in progress. Everybody who was present near the scene fled for cover as the robbers fired many gunshots. After loading the trunk in the Scorpio car, all the men who were wearing jeans and covering their faces fled towards Alampur village and abandoned the Amaze car on the road,” Sukhwant said.
The police officials said that the condition of security guard Jaswant Singh who was injured in the firing was stable. He was admitted to a private hospital at Rajpura. The other occupants of the van — driver Harpreet Singh, security guard Shamsher Singh, Jatinder Singh and Amrinder Singh — were questioned by the police.
A police officer told Chandigarh Newsline that the Honda Amaze car which was abandoned by the robbers was stolen from Rajpura on April 11 and a case was registered at Rajpura city police station. The police also recovered three different number plates from the car.
“We examined the CCTV cameras installed near the road inside university campus. One of the road construction workers also shot video of the entire incident but the video was not clear. Our experts will examine it,” added the officer.
The officer said that after committing the crime, the robbers fled towards Alampur and it was suspected that they entered Haryana. A team of Haryana Police also reached the spot. Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police S Bhupati said that they were working on some leads and they were hopeful of cracking the case soon. He added that they had contacted their counterparts in Haryana as well as Chandigarh.