A woman and a security guard were wounded during a bid to foil a kidnapping at the Dolmen Mall in Clifton on Saturday.
According to witnesses, three young men and a girl inside a black car, with a green ‘applied for registration’ licence plate for 2012, tried to kidnap a woman, who was accompanied by a teenage girl and a toddler in the underground parking. The woman shouted for help as the suspects tried to kidnap her.
This alerted the security guard, Ghulam Din, who ran towards the car. “As soon as they saw Din coming, the driver of the black car tried to drive on the wrong way and hit a pavement as well,” recalled Din’s colleague. “At that time, the driver, the female suspect and the kidnapped family were inside the car.”
Another security guard immediately locked the electronic gates of the parking lot to prevent their escape. “By this time, the car tyre had already burst and the gate was closed so they were nearly captured,” said a witness. Din was also holding the driver at gunpoint.
However, the remaining accomplices came from behind and opened fire at Din. “Din fell down so the suspects managed to open the gates and escaped on foot.”
The security guards who were deployed outside the mall said that the suspects had another car waiting outside the mall that they used to flee. “We couldn’t understand ourselves what happened,” said a guard. “It all happened inside the parking lot so we didn’t see anything. We just saw them sitting in the car.” The injured guard was later taken to Ziauddin Hospital. The family that was being kidnapped also disappeared and the police have yet to contact them.
Meanwhile, panic spread inside the mall as the exits were temporarily closed. Rumours also flew around that a shooter was roaming the halls. “We were really scared. My husband was with me, but no one was telling us exactly what had happened,” said a shopper, Faiza Kashif. “Our families also panicked when they heard the news on TV, but it all calmed down soon after.”
After going through security camera footages, Clifton division SSP Nasir Aftab told the media that the incident was an attempt at kidnapping but the security guard foiled it. “We can only confirm once we contact the family who the suspects were and why were they being kidnapped,” he said.
The police have, however, impounded the suspects’ car and also noted the registration number of the other car that they used to escape. A pistol, ammunitions and a cellphone were recovered from the impounded car. They have yet to register the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2013.