Pune: After the death of a jeweller and injury to his brother during an armed dacoity at Kolpewadi in neighbouring Ahmednagar district, jewellers in Pune said that they have to tighten security on their own as the police cannot reach the spot immediately. Meanwhile, police officials said that they have issued security guidelines in the past and it was part of their drill to patrol in markets where most jewellery shops are located.
Fatehchand Ranka, President of Maharashtra Rajya Saraf Suvarnakar Federation, said, “The Ahmednagar incident is shocking. The Pune police have been guiding us to protect and secure the shop regularly. Because the police have less manpower and they cannot be present or available at the time of the robbery, we have to protect our shop and customers on our own.”
“There are 1,700 jewellery stores in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Each and everyone is taking their own steps in providing safety and security measures for their individual jewellery stores. We all have CCTV cameras and an armed guard at the stores, but at the actual time of the robbery, the guard shows more concern towards the customers. He also does his duty to stop the robber from indulging in any kind of violence, but for us, customers’ safety is of utmost importance.”
Ramesh Sonigara, an owner of Sonigara Jewellers, said, “Even after installing all kinds of security systems in the store like alarm systems, CCTVs and armed guard, the robbery cannot be stopped because they come in huge number and there is no point in stopping them. Robbery can happen in any shop and the police cannot be present at the time of the robbery so there is no point in blaming them. And instead of organising protests or strikes over the issue, the government should have control on the law and order situation.”
Saurabh Gadgil, Chairman and Managing Director, PNG Jewellers, said, “We do have weapons also but it takes some time to get them out and deal with the robbers. We are always in contact with police for any assistance.”
What police have to say?
There have been several incidents of robberies at jewellery shops in Pune and PCMC in the past. When contacted, Additional Commissioner of Police Ravindra Sengaonkar of Pune city police, said, “We have already apprised the jewellery shop owners about security measures like installing CCTV cameras, hiring guards, alarm bell etc. Our patrolling staff make rounds of the market places. It is part of our daily drill.”
A senior official from PCMC police commissionerate said, “We will check what guidelines were issued in past and accordingly take steps.”
A 36-year-old jeweller was shot dead allegedly by a gang of eight robbers at his shop in Kolpewadi village in Ahmednagar district, around 8.45 pm on Sunday. When the shop owner, Sham Subhash Ghadage, resisted their move, the robbers shot at him in the head, killing him on the spot. His brother Ganesh Ghadage (50) tried to save him, but the miscreants fired at him also and fled after robbing jewellery from the shop. The jeweller’s brother received bullet injuries, the official said, adding that a search was on for the assailants.
Robberies at Pune jewellery shops
2012 Armed robbers looted ornaments worth Rs 70 lakh besides cash from RP Jewellers in Budhwar Peth, after threatening its owner and staff with a revolver and sharp weapons. The robbers tied their hands and legs and assaulted them.
2014 In a jewellery heist at gunpoint, robbers struck at PMJ House, a jewellery showroom in upmarket Koregaon Park, and made away with diamond jewellery worth Rs 1.4 crore.