THREE MASKED men on Tuesday attacked a liquor vend employee in broad daylight in Sector 17 residential area, fired three gunshots in the air, snatched away the bag containing Rs 7.2 lakh and sped away.
The incident took place around 2.30 pm and the victim was identified as Bhushan, an employee of a liquor vend located in Industrial Area, Phase II in Chandigarh. He was carrying the vend’s one-day collection and had come to Sector 17 to deliver it at the house of his employer Sanjeev Abrol’s brother Rajeev. He was about to enter Rajeev’s house when he was attacked and robbed.
An FIR was registered against three unidentified men on the complaint of Sanjeev Abrol.
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According to the police, Bhushan reached Rajeev’s residence about 2.30 pm. He got out of a white Bolero jeep without realising that he was being followed. “A white Etios was behind his jeep. The moment Bhushan parked his car outside Rajeev Abrol’s residence and got down with the cash bag, two men got out of that car. Their third accomplice remained in the car. One of the two was carrying a pistol and fired three shots in the air. His accomplice yelled, ‘maar do isko’ (kill him),” said Daya Ram, a washerman who works from a kiosk near Rajeev’s house.
“It all happened within a few seconds. The accused reversed their car and sped away towards Sector 17 market. The right indicator of the car was damaged, when it hit the wall of a nearby house,” said another eyewitness, V K Kapoor.
The police recorded statements of the two eyewitnesses, Kapoor and Daya Ram. Both corroborated Bhushan’s description of the incident.
The police later identified the weapon as a country-made pistol from one bullet’s shell that was recovered from the spot. “As the accused caught hold of Bhushan and fired three gunshots in the air to scare him, he immediately threw the cash bag over the gate of the house. One of the accused picked up the bag. Both of them got back to their car and sped away. Thier third accomplice, who was driving, reversed the car and sped away. In an attempt to escape, the car even rammed into a wall of a nearby house. The vehicle’s rear indicators got damaged because of the collision. But the accused managed to escape,” one of the investigating police officers told Chandigarh Newsline.
After the incident, the police also questioned Bhushan for several hours and recorded his statement.
Talking to Newsline, Sanjeev said, “Bhushan has been working with me for the last two years, though I have known him for the last six years. There are six liquor vends in Industrial Area, which we run in partnership under the name of Darshan Singh and Company. Every day, one of our employees collects the day’s earning from all six liquor vends and deposits it in our office in Industrial Area, or keep it at my brother’s house in Sector 17. Then, next day, we deposit it in the bank. On Tuesday, I had asked Bhushan to collect the cash, since I had to visit Ludhiana for a friend’s last rites.”
Sanjeev resides in Sector 50, Chandigarh, while his brother Rajeev lives in Sector 17, Panchkula. At the time of the incident, Rajeev’s wife Sangeeta was alone at home, and came to know about the incident when Bhushan knocked at the door after the robbers had sped away. “He was in shock. Peela pad gaya tha. (The colour had drained out of his face) I gave him water, and then we informed the police,” she said.
Commissioner of Police (Ambala-Panchkula) O P Singh, DCP (crime) Vikram Kapoor and ACP (crime) Pramod Kumar also visited the spot. A case under Section 392 (robbery) of the IPC and relevant sections of the Arms Act was registered against unidentified persons at the Sector 14 Police Station.
“It was a white Etios, bearing a Chandigarh registration number. Bhushan could recall only the last three digits. The investigation is on. Teams from CIA and Crime Branch are carrying out the investigation,” said DCP Kapoor.