'Save our stores'

After a spate of thefts at jewellery stores, Ulhasnagar traders go to police station, demanding speedy justice

With six attacks on jewellers in a span of three months, businessmen in Ulhasnagar are a disgruntled lot. And Monday's incident, where robbers attacked and looted Murli Ahuja, a jeweler, proved to be the last straw. A group of 100 jewellers marched to the police station, and demanded that the cases be solved and the guilty be brought to book at the earliest.

Act now: Businessmen protest outside the Ulhasnagar police station
following a spate of attacks and robberies on jewellers in the area in a
span of three months. PIC/VINAY DALVI

Former MLA Pappu Kalani, who led the protest to the police station, alleged that, "There are some history-sheeters who operate in the area freely. They should be externed from the area immediately. The Federation of Sindhu Nagar of businessmen led by Naresh Dughani approached me for help and then we went to the police station. The jewelers, as well as local leaders, have asked the police to crack the cases quickly." Around 1,500 shop owners were planning to call for a bandh yesterday in protest of the increase in robberies and attacks in the area. However, Kalani convinced the traders to give the police some time to investigate the cases.

"Our officers and staff have been combing the area in search of the suspects. We are hopeful of nabbing the accused in the Ahuja case and will crack the case soon," said Dr Shivajirao Rathod, deputy commissioner of police, Ulhasnagar.

The last straw
On Monday, around 11 pm as Ahuja was closing the store, three unidentified men attacked the jeweler and looted valuables worth Rs 6 lakh. Ahuja sustained injuries to his face and his eyes. He was rushed to Jupiter Hospital, Thane and his condition was stable.

Senior inspector Arvind Patil, Ulhasnagar police station, said, "We have identified the accused, and they will soon be arrested."

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