Rawalpindi: Killer robbers flee with loot on foot
RAWALPINDI: Four gunmen shot dead a shop assistant and a vendor in the Raja Bazaar on Friday and fled on foot, firing in the air, with prize bonds and cash worth millions of rupees from the shop.
Witnesses said four other persons were injured by the flying bullets but were out of danger and recovering in the District Headquarters Hospital satisfactorily.
Traders were reopening their businesses in the bazaar after Friday prayers when the bloody broad daylight robbery at the Shabbir Traders spread panic and shutters of shops came down again. Later, angry traders staged a protest against the incident, which was joined by the general public also.
“Robbers shoot dead two innocent persons in broad daylight and walk away with looted millions unchallenged. That is total lawlessness,” Shahid Ghafoor Paracha, president of the traders union, told Dawn, reflecting on the incident. He said the robbers were seen fleeing in the direction of the Ganjmandi police station.
SHO Khan Shabbir of the police station when contacted said police teams had been constituted to track down the robbers. Meanwhile, the exact value of the looted prize bonds and cash is being assessed. People who ventured into the Shabbir Traders after calm returned saw shop assistant Mir Mohammad Nadeem lying in a pool of blood while Javed Akhtar, a vendor selling dates, lay outside the shop.
Shoaib Latif, a co-worker of victim Nadeem, was on his way to the shop, which does business in prize bonds and currency exchange, when he heard gunshots.
“Everyone was running as far away from the scene of shooting as possible and I did same. I took shelter in a nearby hotel,” he told Dawn.
Shoaib said two robbers wore masks while the other two had cloth wrapped round their faces. While fleeing the scene, the robbers fired also at motorbikes parked outside the shop and damaged some, he said. Maybe the intention was to dissuade anyone from giving them a chase on a bike.
However, nobody dared to challenge them in any way as they fled shooting in the air, he said.