This is not an isolated incident in Delhi, says Devesh K. Pandey

The tragic incident in which a jeweller was shot and robbed of ornaments in South Delhi this past week has created a sense of insecurity among businessmen for whom carrying huge sums of cash or valuables is an unavoidable part of the daily routine.

When Vinay Kumar Jain stopped his car near his residence in Hari Nagar this past Sunday he had absolutely no idea that he was being trailed. He was about to get out of his vehicle when the assailants struck. One of them broke the vehicle's windowpane and grabbed the bag containing jewellery worth Rs. 20 lakh. Mr. Jain offered stiff resistance and even managed to overpower one of the assailants. However, they shot him and vanished with the booty. Mr. Jain succumbed to his injuries in hospital later.

This is not an isolated incident in the Capital. Criminals have in the past targeted persons carrying huge sums of cash in the same fashion and in quite a few cases even killed or injured the victims.

The police feel that such incidents can be curbed if necessary precautions are taken. To bring awareness about this among the business community, they launch awareness drives from time to time informing them about the steps they should take to ensure their safety. Advertisements are also published in newspapers. But, according to police officers, very few people stick to the guidelines. The police say that people should avoid carrying valuables or huge sums of cash with them while travelling. Jewellers -- irrespective of the size of their shops -- should get cash chests installed in the shop itself to keep ornaments. In case there is no option, they should opt for a four-wheeler and take a guard along.

In Sunday's incident, the victim was travelling in a four-wheeler but did not have anyone to assist him when the criminals struck. According to the police officer, had a second person been around with him, the likelihood of criminals targeting him would be comparatively less. It is common knowledge that criminals usually conduct detailed reconnaissance of their target before striking. Hence those dealing in huge sums of cash or valuables should also remain extra vigilant. The police advise people carrying valuables to remain alert but without looking over-cautious or nervous. Checking one's belongings every now and then can render them vulnerable to criminals. Also, changing the routine is one of the ways to keep robbers at bay. The police can also intensify patrolling and develop local intelligence to curb such crimes.

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