A wine shop in Parel has become a target for thefts and attacks. On Tuesday, two unidentified assailants shot the manager of the shop, Ajit Punjwani (32), thrice. This is the third incident at the shop in five months. The police suspect it to be case of rivalry.
The incident took place around 11.30 am at London Wine shop, located opposite the ITC Grand Central. A witness told the police the two attackers entered the shop pretending to be customers. When Punjwani got up from his seat to attend to them, one of them shot four bullets at him from a country-made pistol, the police said. He was hit on the chest, arm and the back. “He is out of danger and is recuperating at KEM hospital,” said police sub-inspector A. Sawant from Bhoiwada police station.
The shop has been robbed twice this year: Just last month, it was robbed of Rs 1.45 lakh; in February it lost Rs 15,000.
Suresh Kumar, who witnessed the incident, said after the firing the two accused escaped in opposite directions. “One of them even fired a bullet in the air,” Kumar said.
A beat marshal, Manohar Shendge (35) spotted the fleeing accused. “I tried chasing him, but a crowd had gathered and that helped them escape,” he said. Police sources said the firing incident seems to be a result of enmity between the shop owner, Anand Kukreja, and his partner who are fighting over the six wine shops they own in different parts of the city.
Gulab Kukreja, Anand’s son, denied that their business has a partner and insisted they have only two shops.