Snatching, which has been giving nightmares to locals, took an ugly turn on Saturday after two people shot at a shopkeeper when a woman, whom they had targeted, and some residents tried to catch hold of them.
An injured shopkeeper, Jaspal Singh, has been admitted to a local hospital, where his condition is stated to be critical. In the incident that took place in a street of Naraingarh locality in the afternoon, two snatchers came on a motorcycle outside the house of Jasbir Kaur.
As Kaur was sitting with her back to the gate, one of them forcibly took off her earrings. Kaur followed the snatchers and made them fall on the ground.
As she raised alarm, some locals reached there and a scuffle ensued, which continued for 20 minutes. In the melee, a pistol belonging to one of the suspects fell down. Someone took the pistol and threw it on the roof of a tubewell. However, one of the snatchers retrieved the pistol and opened fire.
A shot hit Jaspal Singh near his ribcage. The shopkeeper was shot at as he had managed to overpower a snatcher.
After the firing, the snatchers fled from the spot leaving the motorcycle behind. A wall near the house bore four bullet marks.
Following the incident, police rushed to the spot and started investigations. The incidents of snatching have been giving a tough time to locals and visitors, but Saturday's incident had raised a question mark on security arrangements.
Talking to HT, Jasbir Kaur said, "I was sitting inside the gate when snatchers took away my earrings. After I followed them, both fell on the ground and people gathered on the spot. They opened fire before fleeing. It is unfortunate that Jaspal received a bullet injury."
Locals said earlier also there have been snatching incidents, but getting into a house and then opening fire indicates the audacity of snatchers.
Amritsar police commissioner RP Mittal visited the hospital to enquire about the condition of Jaspal Singh. He assured of taking an action.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) (city-2) AS Powar said, "A case has been registered under Section 392 of the IPC. The hunt is on for the suspects."
The police officer lauded the woman and locals, who tried to nab the snatchers.