Close on the heels of the incident in which a BJP leader’s Toyota Innova was snatched at gunpoint a few days back, three armed men targeted the Mitsubishi Pajero of a local Akali leader in a similar fashion at the posh Ranjit Avenue locality on Tuesday and fled with the vehicle.
The SUV, worth Rs 25 lakh, belonged to Surinder Singh, an Akali leader who is chairman of the Chogawan market committee.
At the time of the incident, which took place in the morning, Surinder Singh’s driver was in the vehicle as he had come with the Akali leader’s son to a local institute where the latter is getting coaching.
The daring incident has exposed the functioning of the Amritsar police, particularly in the Civil Lines area, which has become a favourite hunting ground for criminals who strike at will, leaving the cops completely clueless.
As per Manjeet Singh, the SUV driver, said, “I was sitting in the vehicle which was parked near MK Hotel when a youngster forced me out at gunpoint. His two accomplices also entered the vehicle and sped away in no time.”
Interestingly, the accused, who had come on a motorcycle, left it at the spot. The motorcycle has no number plate.
Police teams rushed to the spot and started investigations in the matter. Besides the motorcycle left behind by the accused, the police were closely examining the footage captured in closed-circuit television cameras installed nearby the spot.
The police team led by deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Parampal Singh and additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-II) Ketan Patil was looking into the case.
They were questioning the driver to get some clue in the case.
Talking to mediapersons DCP Parampal Singh said, “We are taking this incident very seriously. We have already sounded an alert to ensure that the accused are nabbed. We cannot conclude at this point whether the accused were the same who snatched a car recently. Various police parties are on the job.”
Snatching of BJP leader’s SUV: No clue
In a similar incident involving snatching of the Toyota Innova of BJP’s state spokesperson RP Maini at gunpoint on June 25, the police have failed to get any clues so far.
At the time of the incident, Maini was having dinner at a restaurant in the local Rattan Singh Chowk. Some armed men bundled his driver, Sonu, into the SUV and ran away with the vehicle. Later, the robbers threw Sonu out of the SUV near Jandiala.
Lawlessness prevails in the city
Even as the commissionerate police boast of taking several initiatives to curb the crime rate, their claims apparently seem to have fallen flat with a spate in the criminal activities in the city.
Murders, snatchings, eve-teasing besides car snatchings at gunpoint have become a routine, in a clear mockery of the functioning of the police.
Be it beat policing system, night surveillance or special nakas, criminals are operating fearlessly while the cops keep groping in the dark once the crime has been committed.
Amritsar is one of those cities in Punjab which has adequate police force, but the way the incidents of crime are on the rise has instilled a sense of insecurity among local residents.
Major incidents in June
-- June 25: Innova car of BJP leader snatched from Rattan Singh Chowk
-- June 22: An elderly woman stabbed by snatchers to rob her of money, mobile phone
-- June 12: Woman robbed at the district shopping complex at knifepoint
-- Thieves take away tyres of half a dozen vehicles in Ranjit Avenue