Multi-crore heist in Lucknow: Jewellers down shutters on Monday

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Lucknow : Angered by a multi-crore heist in the Uttar Pradesh capital, the bullion market and all jewellery shops here have decided to shut down on Monday, an official of the jewellers' association said.

"The decision has been taken in view of the continued crimes against jewellers and soaring cases of loot and dacoities," Amarnath Mishra, senior general secretary of the Lucknow Vyapar Mandal said.

The shutdown was sparked by a robbery late Sunday night in which Mukund Jewellers in the Chowk bullion market here was robbed off 40 kg gold and Rs 13.5 crore cash, an official said.

The owner Pravin Rastogi and his son Jitanshu Rastogi were the only persons present in the old city area shop when five masked persons barged in.

The robbers not only managed to pull off the "biggest heist" in the city just a few yards away from the local police station but also shot at and wounded the owner.

The son was also injured as they hit him on the head as both men tried to overpower the robbers and chase them away. 

While the senior Rastogi was shot in the foot, his son sustained serious head injuries after being attacked with a pistol butt, an official told IANS.

Angry jewellers raised anti-government slogans at the trauma centre where the two injured were admitted. Senior police officials who rushed to pacify them faced stiff resistance.

The last biggest heist here was worth Rs six crore when the Muthoot Finance outlet in Alambagh was robbed in 2013. 

The incident has given fresh ammunition to opposition parties who allege that the law and order machinery has completely collapsed under the watch of the Akhilesh Yadav government in the state.