Rawalpindi - A gang of six robbers plundered more than Rs 20 million from a bank at Chuhur Chowk and injured two security guards yesterday.

The robbers remained in the bank for more than 45 minutes.  According to sources and a police officer, the robbers came to Bank Al-Falah at 02:00pm on vehicles and stormed into bank while brandishing pistols in their hands. They said that robbers overwhelmed the two security guards who were sitting at the entry gate, hit and injured them with pistol and threw them aside. Later, the robbers went inside the bank and made hostage the entire staff and the customers, they said. 

The injured guards were identified as Rasheed and Muhammad Khan, who were moved to hospital for medical treatment.

Following the bank robbery, City Police Officer Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi, SSP (Operations) Ifran Tariq and SP Muhammad Ateeque Tahir, SHO police station Westridge Malik Asif reached the crime scene and started collecting evidence, besides recording the statements of bank staff and the manager.

A case was registered against the gang of robbers on complaint of bank manager Syed Asad Abbas with no arrest of recovery so far.

On the other hand, RPO Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja reprimanded police high-ups including SSP Irfan Tariq and SP Muhammad Ateeque Tahir while suspending SHO Malik Asif. Inspector Chaudhry Jamil was reportedly appointed as new SHO PS Westridge.

The RPO also ordered police officers to form special teams to trace the robbers .

The daylight bank robbery swelled a wave of fear and panic among the traders. Many traders immediately shut down their businesses and started protesting against police for not providing proper security to the markets.

It is the fifth bank robbery during the last eight months in Rawalpindi. Earlier, robbers looted three banks in New Town Circle while a bank was plundered in Rawat with no arrest or recovery so far.  Separately, three outlaws shot and injured a traffic warden here at Dhoke Dalal Chowk yesterday. The injured warden was identified as Asif Ali who was rushed to Holy Family Hospital (HFH) for medical treatment.

According to Wajid Satti, the traffic police spokesman, Asif Ali was performing his routine duty at Dhoke Dalal Chowk when he spotted three suspects riding on a motorcycle. The warden signalled them to stop, he said adding that one of the three outlaws pulled out his pistol and fired a bullet at the warden that hit near his left ankle. Rescue 1122 moved the injured warden to HFH where doctors operated upon his leg, Wajid said.

He informed Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Dr Sardar Ghias Gull also reached the hospital and inquired about the health of injured warden. “CTO has given Rs 10,000 as compensation to the warden in hospital,” the spokesman said.

On the other hand, the attackers managed to escape from the scene after committing crime. Police are trying to arrest the fleeing culprits and a case would be registered against them on complaint of the injured warden.