Seven armed robbers held three men hostage near a private water supply plant, and escaped with electric wires and parts of power transformer installed near the Ghaziabad Development Authority’s Madhuban Bapudham housing scheme on Thursday morning. The hostages were injured in the incident.
The hostages included the owner and two workers of the plant. They said the robbers told them that they were trying to make quick money as they were hit badly by demonetisation.
The robbers, seven of them according to the victims, arrived around 12.15am on Thursday and left by 4am. The injured men later informed police who arrived around 4.45am.
“During the incident, I asked them why they were holding us hostage and stealing electricity wires and other materials. They said they don’t usually do such things but as they were hit by demonetisation, they were trying to steal items to earn quick money. This was the only conversation they had with us and then asked us to keep quiet,” Kishan Pal Singh, the owner of the water plant, said.
Singh sustained head injuries after he resisted the armed robbers. The robbers held them hostage at gunpoint at a nearby house and two men guarded the place, police said.
“The others started bringing down the wires, opened the transformer, and took copper and oil from it,” Singh said.
“They escaped with electric wires from six to seven poles. They accused the Prime Minister’s move to ban old notes for their misery. I told them not to harm us and take whatever they want as they were armed with countrymade weapons. They also took away our mobile phones and around ₹8,000 in cash,” Tej Vir, a worker at the water plant, who was among those held hostage, said.
The police said the robbers also arranged for a vehicle to transport the power equipment.
“We are working on this lead and trying to track them. The robbers escaped with copper, electric wires and other equipment at the water plant. We have started investigation and sent our teams to get more information from the victims,” Hemant Rai, station house officer, Kavi Nagar police station, said.