| A crowd gathers outside the jewellery store in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Apart from criminals, police are also up against nature, especially the fog and the chill.
Late on Monday night, criminals broke into a jewellery store in AG Colony and fled with diamond ornaments worth Rs 10 lakh.
The incident occurred between 10pm on Monday and 8am on Tuesday. Guddu Kumar, the middle-aged owner of New Harsh Alankar Jewellers, had gone by his store around 10pm after closing it a couple of hours earlier.
His friend called him in the morning to tell him the shop’s iron grille and shutter were open with the locks scattered around the premises.
A resident of Rajendra Nagar, Guddu told The Telegraph: “After closing the store with 12 locks, I left for the day at 8pm because I had some work. I passed by the store again around 10pm to find it secured. In the morning, I got a call that the shop has been robbed. There is an iron grille, a shutter and another glass door that the criminals opened to step inside. They mostly went for the diamond jewellery some of which were to be delivered to customers. Ornaments worth almost Rs 10 lakh were stolen and I am staring at a huge loss. I have lodged an FIR and I am waiting desperately for police to act.”
Guddu looks after the store in AG Colony under the jurisdiction of Shastri Nagar police station with the help of his wife and one employee.
An officer at the police station said: “Regular patrolling is on but the fog cover gets the better of us sometimes. But the police are up to the task and the matter is being investigated thoroughly. It looks like the job of a professional gang and the police are keeping an eye on people recently released from jails.”
Senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj conceded that the dense fog cover and cold was proving to be a roadblock for the force.
“I appeal to the shopkeepers to install closed-circuit television cameras and security alarms in their stores. It is winter and thieves take advantage of the dense fog in spite of strong patrolling. The guards in apartments and shopping complexes should also be alert and wear fluorescent jackets so that they are visible in the fog.”