LAHORE – Dacoits shot down a 45-year-old cashier at a filling station located at a stone’s throw away from the office of the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) and the Civil Lines Police Station on Fatima Jinnah Road, police sources said on Wednesday.

Four bandits riding on two motorcycles shot dead the father of five, identified as Muhammad Ashraf, snatched away cash worth thousands of rupees from him and fled away without facing any further resistance.

Ironically, the robbers killed the cashier after midnight on the busy road when many policemen were on ‘high-alert’ in the same locality. A great number of motorists and motorcyclists were also seen on the road to celebrate the Independence Day, but the bandits fled away easily.

“This brazen robbery-cum-murder incident, which took place in the sensitive locality, has exposed the working of the police,” said a worker at the filling station. The petrol pump workers told the police that four motorcyclists approached the cashier and tried to snatch cash from him on gunpoint when he offered resistance.

As Muhammad Ashraf, said to be the resident of Fateh Garh, tried to overpower one of the bandits, another standing next to him opened fire on him. The cashier sustained multiple bullet wounds and fell on the ground, while the robbers snatched currency notes from him and fled away instantly.

The man was rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors pronounced him dead. The police later reached the spot, collected evidences from the crime scene, and removed the dead body to the morgue for an autopsy. The police have also registered the case against unidentified killers on the complaint Muhammad Asif, son of the deceased and are investigating with no arrest made so far.

Armed bandits also robbed houses, and looted passers-by and motorists in the Iqbal Town, Satu Katla, Johar Town, Samanabad, Nawab Town, Gujjarpura, Shahdara, Defense-A, North Cantonment, Ravi Road, Shera Kot, Badami Bagh and Wahdat Colony police areas.

Meanwhile, four gunmen riding on a motorcycle forced their entry into a shop in the Kot Lakhpat police precincts and snatched away cash and valuables worth Rs500,000 on gunpoint. In another incident, thieves broke into a shop situated in the Ghalib Market police vicinity and made off with cash and fabric worth Rs900,000.

Police source revealed that armed robberies had swelled to an alarming level in the provincial capital ahead of Eid because the City police had miserably failed to reduce the crime rate in the provincial metropolis.