Landhi market helpless in the face of recurring robberies
Karachi: The robbers who had made off on Monday with 1,100 grams of gold, worth Rs 3.5 million, from jewellery shops in Babar market, Landhi no.3, had promised the watchmen that they will be back. True to their word, they returned on Wednesday, and robbed three shops in broad daylight.
While this happened, some police officers who were seated only a few steps away from the scene failed to notice that anything was amiss, thus allowing the robbers a clean escape, the shop owners alleged.
“The police are of no use. When we are being held at gunpoint, they disappear from the sight, only to come back later to inform us that they cannot do anything because the area does not fall in their jurisdiction.,” Noor, the owner of Al-Madina Electric Store, which was one of the shops targeted on Wednesday, said angrily.
Landhi SHO Fawad Akhund, meanwhile, tried to defend the policemen present in the area. He claimed that it was difficult for the police to know exactly what was going on in such a crowded market, “until someone informs them”.
Four days ago, four jewellery shops were robbed at the break of dawn. Makkah Jewellers, one of the shops which was robbed, is situated in a narrow lane of the market. The owner, Muhammad Shamshad, now has nothing in the display window, except empty jewellery stands. “We are hopeless and helpless. We know who is behind the act but we are afraid to point them out,” he said, hinting that the spate of robberies may be the work of activists of political parties.
Babar Market Jewelers and Zargaran Welfare Association General Secretary Rashid Ali Shah told The News that around 1,100 grams of gold worth of Rs3.5 million were robbed on Monday. “Whoever did this was very well-equipped; they managed to break some 15 locks, which is not an easy task,” he said.
Shah said that contrary to the union’s claims about approximately eight watchmen on duty in the market at night, only one old man was present at the time of the robbery on Monday. Before leaving, the robbers had told him that they will be back.