Bhubaneswar, Jan. 16: Unidentified youths looted gold ornaments worth more than Rs 15 lakh from a jewellery shop owner last night near Damana Square. They attacked him with sharp weapons and fired in the air while he was going home on his motorcycle. The goons also stole his two-wheeler.
The businessman, Chitta Ranjan Kasta, 42, of Damana village, suffered injuries on both hands as the goons attacked him with a sharp weapon when he resisted their attempt to take away the bag containing the gold ornaments.
Kasta was admitted to a private hospital and allowed to leave after preliminary treatment.
Kasta said that around 10.30pm, he shut down his shop near the Hanuman temple at Damana Square and left for his village on his motorcycle.
When he entered the village after crossing the main road, five people on two motorcycles came from behind and intercepted his bike. The goons stopped him at the end of a row of shops near the village.
“They tried to snatch my bag containing the ornaments. When I tried to stop them, they attacked me with a sharp weapon. I shouted for help and some people gathered. But the goons, who were wearing helmets, fired two shots in the air and fled from the spot taking my motorcycle with them,” said Kasta.
An eyewitness, Pradip Sabat, who stays nearby, said the spot was still full of people when the goons fled.
“When they started using sharp weapons, we decided to confront them. But when the goons resorted to blank firing we dared not move. So, they managed to flee easily,” he said.
Kasta said he usually took gold ornaments to his house at night and brought the valuables in the morning, fearing burglary at the shop.
After his treatment, Kasta lodged a complaint with the Chandrasekharpur police, who had already visited the spot following a phone call made by an eyewitness.
The police said they had received a complaint regarding the loot at night.
“We are asking people about the incident. We have launched a manhunt to arrest the culprits and they will be nabbed soon,” said inspector in charge of Chandrasekharpur police station R.N. Satpathy.
The cops suspect some criminals who had been released from jail recently were behind the incident.
However, residents are worried about how easily goons can find firearms.