LAHORE: In yet another robbery gone wrong, the cashier of a bakery was shot dead in broad daylight in the Green Town area of the provincial capital on Thursday.
The victim, identified as Abid, 23, was busy with routine work at Omer Chowk when three unidentified suspected barged into the establishment. They neutralised the on-duty security guard and held the customers hostage.
After securing their position, the gunmen rushed towards the cashier to loot the money. The victim resisted and the bandits opened fire on him. Abid suffered received bullet wounds at the scene and was taken to the hospital where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival. Police took the body to the morgue for an autopsy, collected forensic evidence from the crime scene and recorded statements of eyewitnesses.
A case was registered against suspects under murder and robbery charges by the Abdul Majeed, the uncle of the deceased. Police said they formed investigation teams to nab the suspects.
On January 30, a taxi driver was shot dead by gunmen on Ravi Road. Muhammad Yousuf, a resident of Rachna Town, was looking for passengers when two unidentified suspects stopped him near Nabi Park, police said.
The men tried to rob the taxi driver, but the victim was also armed and he opened fire. In the ensuing shoot-out, Yousuf was killed on the spot and an uninjured robber fled the scene. The wounded suspect was shifted to a nearby hospital where doctors said his condition was critical.
In November 2016, five people were killed in a botched robbery at Millat Park. The victims included a father and son. The following month, four suspected robbers, including three accused of the Millat Park robbery, were killed in an ‘encounter’ in the Shahdara area.
At the time, investigation officer Sub-Inspector Muhammad Akram said three suspects, identified as Zaheer, Zahid and Jahangir, were on physical remand and being transported to Sukheki district in Hafizabad to recover snatched valuables.
The police van was on the way back when a car intercepted the vehicle near Saggian Bridge. The gunmen in the vehicle opened indiscriminate fire on the police, which took positions and shot back. In the ensuing shoot-out, the assailants hit the detained suspects, killing all of them on the spot.
A gunman from the attackers’ group was hit by the police’s retaliatory fire and also died. Some of the other attackers were injured, but managed to flee the scene. Not a single policeman suffered injuries and only their van was damaged.
Over 1,083 incidents of crime against property including robbery, burglary, theft as well as car and motorcycle snatching/theft were reported in the first five weeks of the ongoing year.
Lahoris have been deprived of valuables worth millions of rupees in 253 incidents of robbery, 10 cases of theft (382 PPC), 298 cases of burglary,76 car thefts, 24 motorcycle snatchings, 378 motorcycle liftings and 43 cases of other vehicle lifting or snatching.
As far violence is concerned, over a dozen cases of injury during robbery attempts were registered, while the police recorded 47 attempted murder and 30 murder cases in the provincial metropolis till February 9, 2017.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2017.