A GANG of six armed robbers, with their faces covered with scarves and helmets, barged into a jewellery shop in Mathura’s City Kotwali area late Monday, killing the shopowner and his friend before escaping with cash and jewellery worth lakhs. Three others present in the shop were injured in the attack. Markets in Mathura remained shut on Tuesday with traders deciding to keep the shutters down on Wednesday as well.
The deceased have been identified as shopowner Vikas Goel and his friend Megh Agarwal. Those injured are Vikas’ younger brother Mayank and two shop employees — Ashok Sahu and Mohammad Ali. The condition of Mayank and Ashok is stated to be critical.
City Kotwali police Station House Officer Surendra Pal Singh said: “Around 8.15 pm on Monday, the gang members with their faces covered stormed into jewellery shop ‘Mayank Chain’ at Koyla Wali Gali. Mayank and Vikas — both owners of the shop — were sitting along with Megh Agarwal, who has a jewellery shop in Delhi. Ashok and Mohammad Ali too were present.”
As the miscreants forcefully entered the shop, the five pounced upon them in a bid to overpower them. “The robbers, all of whom were carrying pistols, opened fire. While Megh was hit on the face, Vikas on injured on the head and stomach, Mayank on his shoulder and stomach and Ashok too in the stomach. Mohammad Ali was hit with butt of the pistol by the robbers,” said the SHO.
The CCTV footage shows robbers collecting jewellery and cash from drawers and also damaging the TV while leaving the shop.
Hearing gunshots, neighbouring shopkeepers informed the police and took the injured to the hospital. Vikas and Megh were declared brought dead on arrival at the hospital. “The shopowner’s family is yet to give details of the jewellery and other valuables that have been stolen. We have CCTV footage of the incident and are scanning the same for clues,” DIG (Agra Range) Mutha Ashok Jain said.
President of Mathura Vyapar Mandal, Lalit Arora, said: “We have decided to demand financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh for the family of the deceased and Rs 25 lakh to the injured. If police fails to solve the case, we will organise dharnas in the city till the accused are arrested.”
The incident caused uproar in state Assembly with leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary and BSP’s Lalji Verma trying to corner the government on the issue of law and order. Chaudhary even referred to similar cases of robberies at jewellery shops and attack on jewellers in Lucknow, Varanasi and other districts.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in reply, assured strict action against the assailants and said that he has sought an explanation from the DGP, who would visit the incident spot on Wednesday.