A cashier of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (UHBVNL) was killed in a gunpoint robbery when a gang of four robbed him of a cash bag containing around Rs 9.50 lakh in broad daylight outside the UHBVN office in Power Colony, Industrial Area, Phase 2, here on Friday.
The deceased was identified as Anil Kumar Dutt, 37, who worked as a cashier in the sub-urban sub-division of the UHBVN. A resident of Ravindra Enclave, Baltana, he is survived by his wife and two children.
The incident was reported around 3.12 pm when Dutt came out of the UHBVN office with the bag containing the day’s collection of around Rs 9.50 lakh, which was to be deposited in SBI branch in Sector 12. The driver, identified as Jagdish, was waiting in the jeep.
According to eyewitnesses, two accused came out of a white Swift car which was parked on the roadside, around 30 m from the office. One of them pointed a revolver at Dutt, and tried to take the cash bag from him, but when Dutt resisted, he fired at him. The bullet hit Dutt on the right side of his chest, and he fell down on the road.
The robbers, the police said, had fired four shots, one of which killed Dutt. The police recovered all the four shells from the spot, and reported them to be from 0.32 bore revolver. The robbers got into the car, and fled away with the bag containing cash towards the inner road of the colony, which opens at Baltana, Zirakpur.
Some of the UHBVN officials came outside the office when they heard gunshots, and found Dutt lying on the road bleeding. He was rushed to the General Hospital, Sector 6, where he was declared brought dead.
“I was sitting in the booth, and the water cooler was on. But, suddenly around 3.10 pm, I heard the gunshot, and rushed outside. I saw Dutt was lying on the road bleeding, and a white Swift car moving at high speed towards the road leading to the colony. A number of people had gathered there by that time. Everything happened within a few minutes,” said Rajesh Kumar, who works in the Verka booth, located 50 m from the spot.
ONE ACCUSED IDENTIFIED
While the police were recording statements of the fellow employees and eyewitnesses, one of the employees, Amit, 28, came forward and claimed that he had seen the accused. Being hearing and speech impaired, Amit tried to explain the incident to the police using the sign language. He was among the first few employees who rushed outside the office after hearing the gunshots.
When one of the Crime Branch officers showed him pictures of some of the criminals involved in previous robbery incidents, Amit instantly recognised one of the accused, and claimed that he was the one who had fired at Dutt.
Commissioner of Police O P Singh and Deputy Commissioner of Police Anil Dhawan also rushed to the spot.
Deputy Commissioner Vivek Atray said, “Such incidents cannot be tolerated. We had discussed the issue with the Panchkula Police, and the security will be strengthened in the area.”
LACK OF SECURITY
There was no security guard who used to accompany the cashier to bank. He followed the same routine everyday, and would leave every working day around 3 pm to deposit the day’s earnings in the bank. The residents of Power Colony complained that there was no naka on the road leading to Baltana, which was the road used by the robbers to flee. No CCTV camera was installed outside the UHBVN office. The police claimed that there were a total of 40 riders deputed across all the police posts in Panchkula.
MARCH 11, 2014: The incident took place in Industrial Area Phase-1, where the employees of Toyota showroom were robbed of Rs 1.28 lakh and bank drafts of Rs 18 lakh. The car of the accused trailed the Toyota showroom vehicle, hit it from the rear while the employees were going to deposit the day’s collection in a bank. Five gunshots were fired by the accused, when the victims refused to roll down the glass.
The investigation is on, and there have been no arrests so far.
There were three eyewitnesses in the case.
JULY 13, 2014 : Four armed men and a woman wearing helmets barged into a jewellery shop in Sector 5 Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) in broad daylight, tied up the shop owner’s father and two other employees and ran away with jewellery worth Rs 50 lakh and a Swift car. The employees were first blinded by the use of chilli powder, and then tied up with a rope at gunpoint. The accused were arrested later.
JANUARY 12, 2015: A gun-point robbery was reported when three masked men in a white Swift car looted a cash bag containing Rs 7.5 lakh from three employees of Amartex Shoppers, after overtaking their car at a deserted spot in Sector 14. The employees were on their way to deposit the cash in a bank. No arrests.
MARCH 30, 2015 :Three persons in a white Swift car allegedly robbed a senior citizen of Rs 9.80 lakh in broad daylight after he got down from the car parked outside the post office to deposit the cash in a bank at Sector 8 market. The accused who came in a white Swift car fired two gunshots, one of which hit the victim on the right hand. No arrests.