A day after the business head of a private company was shot and injured during a daylight robbery attempt, investigators revealed that three robbers had zeroed in on the victim and followed him for nearly 18 km towards Noida from Greater Noida.
Victim Rakesh Awasthi, a Sector 36 resident from Greater Noida, was shot at around 12.30 pm in Sector-15A while on his way to his office in his Honda sedan.
Immediately after one of the robbers, Pankaj Kumar, opened fire, he was caught by passersby, thrashed and handed over to the police. Kumar, during questioning, allegedly said that two others were involved in the incident.
“He told us that one of his accomplices, Sachin, was standing in front of a bank in Sector Alpha 1 in Greater Noida when he spotted Awasthi who had come to the bank to get his passbook updated. He was carrying a laptop, which caught attention of the robbers. Sachin assumed that Awasthi had withdrawn money from the bank and informed his accomplices Prince and Pankaj, who were waiting on a bike near Pari Chowk,” said Kiran Sivakumar, senior superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Police said Sachin supplied his accomplices Awasthi’s car number and also told them that there was a possibility that a large sum of cash is kept on the rear seat of the car with the side window open. After Sachin’s signal, Pankaj and Prince began tailing Awasthi from Pari Chowk on their bike.
“They got a chance to steal the bag near Sector 15-A, but Awasthi saw them in the rear-view mirror and cornered them between the divider and his car. Pankaj said he was driving the bike with Prince riding pillion. He claimed that Prince shot Awasthi in a bid to escape. However, we have sent the .32 bore pistol recovered from his possession for forensic tests to confirm his claim,” said Amarnath Yadav, station house officer (SHO), Sector 20 police station.
Police said they have formed teams to conduct raids at possible hideouts of accused Sachin and Prince. Sources said Sachin and Prince hail from Ghaziabad but the police are yet to confirm this.
“We are also taking help of technical surveillance to nab the absconding accused,” Yadav said.