A gang of robbers, which has been spreading terror in the roads of Mohali, struck again on Thursday, this time targeting and fleeing with a Panipat-based man’s mobile phone, money and car at gunpoint.
The incident — the third such to be recorded in a week — took place in Phase 11 of Mohali, one of the busiest areas in the city, raising questions about the law and order and safety of residents after sundown. The victim in the latest case, identified as one Vinod Kumar, had come to drop someone off in Sector 65, investigators said.
Kumar told the police that while he was returning, he stopped near the light point of Phase 10-11 to have dinner.
After returning to his car after dinner as he was getting ready to drive back, a car with four men suddenly came and stopped near his vehicle. One of the men in the car pointed a pistol at him, asking him to get out. They then proceeded to snatch his valuables as well as his car, a Hyundai Verna car, before escaping from the spot in both the vehicles.
Kumar added in his complaint that he could not note down the registration number of the vehicle as he was scared.
Contacted, Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sandeep Garg said that the police were aware about the spate of car jackings in the past few days and had chalked out a plan to increase PCR patrolling in Mohali, especially at night. “We have decided to put in place late night checkpoints around the city to ensure the safety of residents of the city and maintain law and order. Meanwhile, we encourage people to install GPS devices in their cars. In one of the three car jacking incidents, the accused had to leave the car as it was traced due to the GPS installed in it,” the SSP said.
On November 20 four men had hailed an app-based cab and then snatched the same cab at gunpoint after abandoning its driver in Nakodar town.
Three days later, four armed men again had on November 23 snatched a car from a man in Sector 88, with the police failing to make any breakthroughs in the case.
The men in the November 23 case, the men had opened fire in the air, before snatching the car at gunpoint and fleeing. The car was recovered from Sirhind town in neighbouring Fatehgarh Sahib district. Police registered a case at Phase 11 police station and launched an investigation suspecting that a same gang had been operating in the city and snatching cars.
Residents flag safety concerns
Residents of the city on Saturday, expressed their concerns at the rising spate of crimes in Mohali, with some wondering out loud how safe it actually was to step out in the late hours.
Sukhdev Choudhary, the president of JAC Residents Welfare Association Society, Zirakpur, stated that women in Mohali were scared of stepping out of their houses because of the increase in snatching cases across the city, especially during the night hours. “Robbers have been snatching things from people out in the open without any fear. The number of thefts too have increased in Zirakpur of late. Surprisingly, the police or the administration have failed to take any action,” Choudhary said.
Shammi Sipehia, who works for a corporate firm, said, “These days travelling in Mohali is really dangerous is what I feel. I have to think twice before I stepping out of my house these days. I return from office at late hours. The news of such carjacking incidents are scary and no one wants to lose their lives. I am very disappointed that the authorities are not taking any concrete step to nab the men involved in such crimes.”
Film Director Rishi Sharma, echoed Sipehia’s concerns. “My studio is at Mohali, and I travel from Zirakpur to Mohali every day. Usually I come back home late at night due to my work. At Airport road, I haven’t seen the presence of any policemen ever. That stretch of road is isolated and is the only important link which connects the airport of Chandigarh to Mohali. After learning about the latest incidents of car jackings and other robberies, I don’t feel safe at night.”
Harpreet Kaur, a sales manager of a private company said, “I travel back to Mohali and Zirakpursometimes during late in the evening due to my work. I do not feel very safe in Mohali these days.”