A 37-year-old gold trader was allegedly shot dead and robbed of valuables by unidentified assailants on the national highway at Kolaghat in West Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district Monday night.
According to police, the victim, Samir Padiya, had been the target of robbers for some time, and he was previously also targeted twice near Kolaghat.
Padiya, the police said, was returning home from the jewellery store he owned at Kolaghat’s Jinda Bazar with gold and silver items worth Rs 40 lakh with him. The assailants surrounded him and killed him before fleeing with the valuables, the police said.
“The businessman was returning home along the national highway after closing the shop like every other day. Around 9 pm, the assailants suddenly came in front of him near Savita Rice Mill in the Deulbard area of the Kolaghat police station. They shot him in the head and ran away with his bag,” the police said.
The victim’s father, Sukumar Padiya, said his son’s bag contained five or six wedding ornaments. “He was returning home after buying 200 gm of gold. There was 2.5 kg of silver jewellery. In all, the market value of the jewellery looted by the assailants was around Rs 40 lakh,” said the father.
Sukumar said, “My son probably recognised the assailants. There might have been someone known to him. That was why they shot him in the head and killed him. He was attacked twice before. The shop was robbed for the first time about five years ago. The second time, criminals took a bag from the store and ran away.”
The victim’s father said criminals in the area were no longer afraid of the police. East Medinipur superintendent of police Soumyadeep Bhattacharya said they are examining the CCTV footage and the assailants would be arrested soon.
“The police have started an investigation after the murder. The investigation is happening separately at the district headquarters and the Kolaghat police station. It is not yet clear whether the incident is a mere robbery or whether there is a business rivalry behind it,” said Bhattacharya.