A Major robbery was averted by both civilians and police officers at Dugri Road of Ludhiana Friday after six armed men barged into the office of a gold loan company and tried to escape with at least 30 kg gold worth around Rs 15 crore and cash. However, the company employees along with police managed to nab three miscreants. The robbers also allegedly opened fire, injuring four persons — four employees and a passerby — while a fifth person sustained a fracture after a fall. Three of the robbers managed to escape.
Ludhiana Police Commissioner Rakesh Agrawal said that the robbery, which took place at a Muthoot Finance outlet, was averted, adding that the accused had filled bags with gold ornaments worth crores and cash but could not escape as police reached the spot and intercepted them with the help of the employees.
Police said the incident took place at around 9 am when the accused barged in, held staff and customers hostage and asked for money and gold.
The robbers opened fire, injuring four employees – Surinder Kumar, Mahinder Singh, Aditya Sharma and Umesh Kumar — but despite being injured, the employees kept fighting and as a result, the accused tried to flee, leaving the bags filled with gold ornaments behind. In the meantime, three robbers tried to flee on a motorbike and again opened fire and a bullet hit a car. A passerby, Daljit Kumar, was injured in the leg. While three employees got bullet injuries, Umesh Kumar sustained a leg fracture. All of them were admitted at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and their condition was stated to be stable.
In another dramatic turn of event, another passerby rammed his Toyota Fortuner vehicle into the motorbike on which three robbers were trying to escape. They lost their balance, fell and the onlookers caught hold of them and started thrashing them. They were later arrested by police and their weapons were seized.
The arrested accused were identified as Roshan Kumar (23), Saurav Kumar (19) and Surjit Kumar (25). Their accomplices who managed to escape were identified as Sushil Kumar, Alok Kumar and Varun. All of the accused were from Bihar.
The police claimed to have recovered three pistols, 30 bullets, five magazines, four mobile phones, three motorbikes and other goods used in the robbery.
CP Rakesh Agrawal said the robbery was planned nearly a month ago, and the accused had also done a recce of the site. The accused rented an accommodation in Chandigarh and used to come to Ludhiana for recce. After the robbery, they had planned to flee to Chandigarh and from there to Bihar.
According to the police’s press statement, Saurav Kumar is already facing trial in criminal cases in Bihar. He was involved in another robbery at the Central Bank of India in Vaishali of Bihar on March 30. He was declared a proclaimed offender in the case. He had also robbed a petrol pump in Bihar. Roshan Kumar was involved in a kidnapping case in Bihar and was also involved in the petrol pump robbery.
CP Agarwal said an FIR under sections 397, 342 of IPC and sections 25, 54 and 59 of Arms Act was registered against the accused at Model Town police station for Friday’s incident. Teams have been formed to look for the three absconding accused.
Addressing a press conference, Agrawal added that the Muthoot Finance headquarters in New Delhi had access to CCTVs installed at the Dugri Road office of Ludhiana. After they noticed the commotion, they alerted Ludhiana police, and teams quickly rushed to the spot. He added that the police officers who nabbed the accused after an intense chase will be rewarded. He also appreciated the locals and company employees who put up a fight and helped police avert a major robbery.