In a daring daylight robbery, armed men intercepted a van of Axis Bank near Rajpura town in Patiala district on Tuesday and decamped with Rs 1.33 crore.
The van was on its way to the bank when unidentified men in a Scorpio fired at its driver and left him injured before looting the money.
The armed men chased the vehicle for a few minutes and later intercepted it on the highway. The incident took place near the Chitkara and Gian Sagar institutes.
This is one of the biggest cash loots in the area in recent times.
Following the incident, there was panic among students as the area has many educational institutes.
The injured van driver has been hospitalised and his condition is said to be critical.
Senior police officers from Rajpura and Patiala have reached the spot. Police are scanning the CCTV footage from the area. The initial probe suggested that the robbers came in two vehicles. While the ones in the Scorpio robbed the van, the other vehicle was used as cover. The Scorpio had two different number plates--one in the front and the other at the rear.
An alert has been sounded across the state. The highway police have been told to randomly check vehicles. The police have also started frisking people on all buses leaving the state through the Rajpura-Ambala highway. They believe the cash must have been distributed by now and is likely to be taken out of the state by buses.
Sources in police said they suspected a Ropar-based group of three men, who were already wanted in a murder and robbery case.
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