Karachi: Jewellers protest after robbery
KARACHI: Jewellers of a shopping centre at Shah Faisal Colony blocked on Thursday Sharea Faisal in protest against a looting spree by a gang of heavily armed bandits, who took away gold ornaments worth over Rs2 million.
Thousands of vehicles crawled bumper-to-bumper on the city’s main artery for well over two hours, though the protesting shopkeepers had blocked it near the Natha Khan Goth bridge for half an hour.
Shopkeepers at the Shama Shopping Centre said that over a dozen robbers, armed with automatic assault rifles and pistols, came there on motorbikes at around 3pm. They said the gangsters split into two teams, one of them stood guard and the other looted at least five jewellery shops.
Tariq Aslam, owner of Munawwar Jewellers and president of the shopping centre jewellers’ body, told Dawn that at least eight robbers brandishing Kalashnikov rifles and pistols approached the jewellers’ shops and looted in all 950 grams of gold. “They were so heavily armed that some of them even had weapons in their both hands, as if they had come to a battlefield,” he said.
The jewellers’ representative said the shopkeepers pulled down their shutters following the looting spree that lasted about 10 minutes. Mr Aslam, who lodged an FIR against unknown bandits for robbing five shops, said one of the culprits also approached his shop. “He broke the door as I delayed the opening of an electronic lock, but in the meantime some shopkeepers ran out of the shopping centre, raising alarm,” he added.
He said the dacoits fled the scene without taking anything from his shop. “Later, the angry shopkeepers gathered in front of the shopping centre and burned old tyres on the street,” he said. Witnesses said the dacoits were young, most of them in their mid-twenties. They said some of the bandits were wearing shalwar-qamees and the others shirts and trousers. The witnesses said that later the angry shopkeepers gathered on Sharea Faisal near the Falak Naz Archade and blocked the road.