A jeweller was shot dead by two people at Assandh town, about 40 km from here, on Thursday morning.
The victim, Narinder Kumar, 38, was shot from a close range when he was opening his shop in the main market. Kumar died on the spot, police have said.
Within a few hours of the murder, the police arrested the two accused - Anil Kumar and Akshay Kumar, both in their 20s - of Rohera village near Rajound in Kaithal district. The police attributed swift action in the case to "alert citizens".
"The accused were arrested from near a cremation ground in Assandh. A .315 country-made pistol, a cartridge and a bullet shell has been seized from them," superintendent of police (SP) Shashank Anand, who reached Assandh in the afternoon, told the media.
The police have said that the accused have admitted to the crime. They have booked under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Arms Act. The accused will be produced in court on Friday.
The SP said the assailants had come with a motive to loot. "The accused had tried to snatch a bag carrying cash, but Kumar resisted. At this, the duo opened fire at him and fled the spot. They, however, failed to get the bag," he said.
The deceased's family had planned to open a jewellery showroom on Diwali in Assandh. The accused were probably aware that Kumar had enough cash and gold at his shop, the SP said.
Anand said the Karnal police had urged the Kaithal police authorities to check whether or not the accused had a criminal past.
Meanwhile, shops were closed in protest against the murder. People blocked roads at Jind and Salwan inter-section. No untoward incident was reported during the protest.
'Alert' residents helped crack the case
In a rare gesture, police credited people for cracking a murder case of an Assandh jeweller in a few hours. Superintendent of police (SP) Shashank Anand said the prompt arrest of the accused was a result of support from "alert residents".
After killing jeweller Narinder Kumar at his shop in main market, the assailants fled. On the basis of inputs from the eyewitnesses, the area was cordoned off to arrest the assailants.
"The efforts of all those who provided clues to the police are praiseworthy. I have asked Assandh deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Sham Lal Kaushik to identify the vigilant residents who gave inputs to the police in tracking the criminals. They will be honoured at the Republic Day function at the district headquarters," the SP added.