Rawalpindi - Armed dacoits and robbers stuck three places in the last 24 hours in Rawalpindi district and deprived the citizens of cash, mobile phones, gold and other valuables, informed sources on Friday.

According to sources, two armed dacoits stormed into Raja Jee Cosmetics at Sadiqabad at 1pm and made the shopkeeper Rashid hostage on gunpoint. The dacoits took a phone and Rs 75000 cash from him and sped away towards Rawal Road on a motorcycle.

The incident took place in broad day light and sparked a massive protest by the traders on Sadiqabad Road.The protestors blocked the road for traffic and chanted slogans against City Police Officer, SP Rawal

Muhammad Salim Abbasi, a trader, said that a few days ago, dacoits had shot and injured a building material supplier at Haroon Chowk but police could not arrest the culprits. “We will observe shutter down strike against the surge in crime in Sadiqabad,” said Mehmood Khan, another trader.

Sub Inspector (SI) Saeed, who is posted at PS Sadiqabad and investigating the case, said no dacoity took place in Raja Jee Cosmetics as police found no clue of it. He said it has become a routine that traders stage a drama of being looted at the hands of dacoits. He said it is hard to believe that the dacoits would mug any shop at 1pm when there is a crowd of people on roads.

In Westridge, a gang of four dacoits stepped in a Sanitary and Hardware Shop at Alaabad and snatched Rs 2,50,000 cash on gunpoint from the shopkeeper. After committing the crime, the dacoits managed to escape on two motorcycles.

Similarly, a gang of 7 robbers stormed into a house at Hasaar Village in limits of PS Wah Saddar and made off with cash and gold after making the family members hostage on gunpoint.

Police have registered a case against the gang of robbers but could not trace them, sources added. The gang of 7 robbers have become a pain in the neck of police as the same gang had earlier mugged Rs 2 million, gold and other valuables from a transporter’s house, they said.

According to sources, a man named Niaz, who is associated with Tents and Catering Business, lodged a complaint with PS Wah Saddar stating that he along with family members was present in his house at Hasaar when seven robbers carrying guns came inside his house. He said the robbers made the entire family hostage on gunpoint and looted Rs0.4 million, 17 tolas of gold and other valuables. The robbers managed to escape, he said. Police registered a case against fleeing robbers and begun investigation. Sub Inspector (SI) Mohsin Hayyat, the investigation officer confirmed the incident.

The crime victims have demanded Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Capt (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan and Regional Police Officer (RPO) Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja to take action against Rawalpindi police for giving a free rope to dacoits and robbers.