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Attacked jeweller safe, but aide in ICU

The 34-year-old jeweller who was attacked with choppers and robbed of gold jewellery worth Rs25 lakh at Nalasopara on Wednesday night escaped with few injuries, but his employee who was riding with him on the bike is being treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Mira Road for grievous injuries on his face and hands.

mumbai Updated: Mar 08, 2013 01:57 IST
Puja Changoiwala

The 34-year-old jeweller who was attacked with choppers and robbed of gold jewellery worth Rs25 lakh at Nalasopara on Wednesday night escaped with few injuries, but his employee who was riding with him on the bike is being treated in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Mira Road for grievous injuries on his face and hands.

The Nalasopara police said the jeweller, Sunil Keshavprakash Jain, left his shop, Saloni Jewelers at Achalya Road in Nalasopara (East), around 10.30pm on Wednesday on a motorbike with Santosh Chaplok, 31, to go to his residence at Vasant Nagari in Nalasopara (East).

When the duo reached Jain’s building gate around 11pm, a white Scorpio with five men in it crashed into their bike, causing the duo to fall off.
“Four men then got out of the SUV and assaulted the two with knives and choppers. When people gathered around, the accused fired three rounds in the air to scare them away. They then threatened to shoot them, snatched the bag containing gold jewellery worth Rs25 lakh, and fled in the SUV,” said S Koregaonkar, senior inspector, Nalasopara police.

The police said the duo was rushed to a nearby hospital. While Jain suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and was discharged after preliminary treatment, Chaplok was moved to Umrao hospital in Mira Road where he is being treated in the intensive care unit for grievous injuries on his face and hands.

The police said that they have been able to obtain CCTV footage of the robbery from a bank outlet nearby, and that the accused should be caught soon.
“Only one of the five men was masked. We have been able to obtain their photos and are checking our records to identify them. There are several eyewitnesses to the robbery, including Jain’s wife Savitri,” said an official who did not wish to be named.

The accused have been booked for attempt to murder, dacoity with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt, and relevant sections of the Indian Arms Act.

Onlookers looked, watchmen watched

Puja Changoiwala
puja.changoiwala@hindustantimes.com

mumbai: At least 15 people looked on as the duo was attacked with choppers and threatened at gunpoint. Even after the accused fled, the two profusely bleeding men lay helpless on the road until a relative arrived about seven minutes later and rushed them to a hospital, while the crowd had thickened to around 50 people. The jeweller’s building outside which the incident occurred has six watchmen, but none of them bothered to help either.

Jeweller Sunil Jain’s brother-in-law Rakesh Jain, 36, who is also a jeweller and lives a kilometer away from Sunil’s Nalasopara residence, said, “My sister Savitri [Sunil’s wife] called me immediately. When I reached the spot, I saw Savitri and Sunil crying for help. But the 50 people standing nearby did not budge. I then ferried the two to a nearby hospital in a rickshaw.”

“There are six watchmen in Sunil’s building. Even they did not bother to help. I could not believe how people can be so apathetic to someone who lives in their own building,” he added.

Rakesh said that in February last year, Sunil’s shop was burgled of jewellery worth Rs8 lakh. Although a person has reportedly been arrested in the case, no recovery has been made so far. “It was after the burglary that Sunil started bringing half the jewellery home at night,” he said.

Sunil’s employee Santosh Chaplok, who is still in a hospital, began work at Sunil’s shop around three years ago and has been living at his residence since. “Santosh is the only breadwinner of the family. He was unconscious for over 12 hours. We heard he put up a brave fight and are glad he is out of danger,” said his sister Rupali, who lives in the Kalwa village of Thane.