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Mumbai: A 37-year-old jeweller Shailendra Pandey was shot dead in broad daylight, in what seemingly was a case of robbery, at Dahisar on Wednesday morning. Police said that the incident occurred at around 10.10 am when three unidentified assailants came on a scooter and opened fire at the jeweller who was alone in his shop. A case of murder has been registered at Dahisar police station and police probe is underway. A special team has been formed for the investigation and a parallel probe by the crime branch is underway.

According to police, the incident occurred at Om Sai Raj Jewellers in Dahisar's Gawde Nagar, near Rawalpada, where three scooter-borne men barged in the shop, shot the man immediately and then stuffed valuables in two trolley bags before escaping. Soon after the incident, Vishwas Nangre Patil, Joint commissioner, Law & Order, reached the spot to overlook the probe and spoke to the victim's family. Meanwhile, a search is on for the accused trio.

Dahisar Police are scrutinizing the CCTV camera footage of the area, which captured the partially broken vehicle number plate, make of the vehicle and description of the accused trio, who were wearing masks. The victim was rushed to the the civic-run Shatabdi Hospital, where he succumbed to the injuries.

An eyewitness to the crime, Shivam Mishra, who owns a mobile shop one store away said, "Pandey arrived at 10 am and soon after I heard two shots being fired. Initially I thought something fell on the patra roof, but as soon as I rushed in the jewellery shop to check on Pandey, the assailants had escaped on their Activa scooter, while Pandey was lying on the floor." Shivam added that he called the police control room, but got no response and he then went to the police station only to bring a police team with him.

Pandey, who stayed at Dahisar (E), is survived by his wife and two sons, and had never shared any problems at work or any conflicts he had in the past, said one of his relatives, Anil Dubey. "He had recently returned from his hometown and reopened the shop after lockdown, but never complained of any previous enmity or robbery attempts. We suspect that robbery was not a motive and the assailants had planned this well in advance," added Dubey.

The accused trio decamped with nearly 20 tolas of gold jewellery kept on 15 trays, said a senior police officer. While two shots were fired, one hit Pandey below his right eye and had an exit wound on the back of his head. Pandey, the sole breadwinner of the family, had opened the jewellery shop nine years ago after working in the gold purification unit for years. Police are also making enquiries with the dealer from where Pandey had ordered the jewellery.

Police said that one of the accused was wearing a white kurta and blue denims, while another was wearing a full sleeved blue shirt. An officer said that police are recording statements of eyewitnesses and a parallel probe by the crime branch is underway.

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Free Press Journal