HYDERABAD: Two police constables foiled an alleged attempt to rob a bank by four suspected robbers on Monday.
One of the robbers was shot dead and two were injured, who were later arrested. One accomplice managed to escape. The police encounter took place in the commercial Gul Centre area in the afternoon. According to Hyderabad SSP Saqib Ismail Memon, the Qasimabad police monitored suspicious activities of four persons travelling in a Toyota Corolla and circulated a wireless message.
When the car arrived near the District Council Building, adjacent to the Gul Centre, it was parked near a private bank [Habib Bank]. The head constable Ghulam Qadir, who was on duty in the area in plain clothes along with constable Ali Imran, spotted the suspicious persons after hearing the wireless message.
“They went to the suspects in the car and asked them to let them search but they refused and aimed their guns at them,” said SHO Anwar Khanzada, adding that the suspects were unable to move their car due to traffic and ran towards the backside of the District Council. It was there that one suspect, Mumtaz Ali Kalhoro, was shot dead while Noor Hassan Kalhoro and another suspect were injured.
The injured suspects, however, claimed that both of them were shot in the leg after their arrest. “They took us to CIA centre and shot and injured us,” Kalhoro, a resident of Khaipur, told the media at the Civil Hospital. The police refuted their account.
An employee of the bank told The Express Tribune that they feared that the robbers would break into the bank after watching their exchange fire with the police. “We locked the bank’s gate when we saw them firing but they ran towards the other direction.”
SSP Memon announced Rs10,000 reward for each constable and recommended their names for promotion.
The district is witnessing a spiral in robberies and streets crimes with around a dozen separate incidents reported each day. On Monday, two robbers burgled cash, prize bonds, jewellery, laptops and mobiles worth million of rupees from the residence of Sindh Population Welfare Department Regional Director Muhammad Waseem Hashmi in Latifabad Unit 10. In Unit 9, a blood bank was robbed of cash and its staff of their mobiles phones. In the same area, car snatchers took away ambulance of a private hospital.
The district’s business and trade community is up in arms against the police for failing to curb the crime. The traders, especially in the downtown Tower Market, have been holding regular protests against these incidents.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2013.