Rawalpindi-A gang of 5 armed dacoits went on looting spree in Sadiqabad on Monday where they snatched cash and mobile phones from two shops and a passerby.

The four incidents of armed robbery that took place in broad daylight sparked unrest among the traders who shut down their businesses and staged a protest demonstration against police. By burning tyres, the protestors blocked road for traffic and chanted slogans against the police.

According to official sources and eyewitnesses, a gang of five dacoits arrived at Sadiqabad Chowk on two motorcycles while having pistols in their hands. The dacoits split into two groups and went into a chicken shop and made the shopkeeper Asif Gujjar hostage on gunpoint. Later, the dacoits snatched Rs4,665 cash and a mobile phone from him. They added that the other group of dacoits stormed into a grocery shop owned by Abdul Shakoor and made off with Rs50,000 cash.

The fleeing dacoits also targeted two passersby and deprived them of mobile phones and cash, they said. According to them, the armed dacoits looted Rs12,000 cash from a resident Khalid Mehmood and snatched Rs2,000 cash and a mobile phone, CNIC, ATM card and driving license from another resident Mohsin Aftab.

After committing the crime, the armed dacoits managed to escape from the scene.

Two days ago, two armed dacoits also robbed a resident Syed Ismail Shah off Rs10,000 cash and mobile phone at Aliabad.

Soon after the incidents of robberies, the irate traders shut down their businesses and poured on road. The traders registered their protest against the police by blocking road and chanting slogans. The protest of traders on road triggered a massive traffic jam in the area posing hardships for commuters and pedestrians.

“After a little pause, the robbers have once again started targeting Sadiqabad traders,” said Amin, a shopkeeper, while talking to media men. He said that it looked as if Sadiqabad had become the most lawless area where the criminals ruled everywhere. He said that Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Amjad Javed Salimi should take notice of the increase in street crime in Sadiqabad.

Many other traders expressed their deep concerns over police failure in controlling crime rate in the locality. They urged City Police Officer (CPO) Abbas Ahsan to suspend the entire staff of Police Station Sadiqabad as they are hands in gloves with criminals.

However, Station House Officer (SHO) Sadiqabad Khizar Hayyat, when contacted, said that the robbers walked in two shops in Sadiqabad and plundered a total of Rs35,000 and a mobile phone. He said that the police visited crime scene and collected evidences besides recording statements of eyewitnesses. He said that case had been registered against the robbers who would soo n be arrested.

On the other hand, a gang of armed dacoits went into an auto spare parts shop in limits of PS Ganjmandi and looted cash and mobile phones from shopkeeper and consumers. Ganjmandi police are investigating the robbery incident with no arrest or recovery so far.