The arrested bandits, belonging to lower-middle class families, confessed to the police investigators that they had been watching action and heist movies, which provided them the inspiration for easy money.
One of the alleged robbers told the police that they had got the idea from an Indian movie in which cash-strapped youngsters commit armed robberies for the sake of fun.
The Kot Radha Kishan police smashed the gang of robbers by arresting its four members, later identified as Sarfaraz, Zeeshan, Sunny and Amjad. However, Muhammad Nadeem, said to be ringleader of the gang, is still at large. The arrested bandits are said to be the first-year students of Government College Kasur.
“Their families were shocked and literally in tears when they came to know about the activities of these boys. We have also recovered Rs150,000 and four pistols from their possession and they are being interrogated,” Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Shabir Ahmed Sethar said.
The students rented a portion and started living there after they got admission in Government College Kasur, police said. In the absence of their parents, the students had been watching Indian movies. Later, a youth named Nadeem was introduced to them. Nadeem had a criminal background and he had suggested to the youngsters to carry out armed robberies for the sake of fun.
Nadeem provided guns and pistols to the youngsters, said ASP Sethar, adding that they committed the first road robbery in the Kanganpur area and deprived a family of their belongings worth hundreds of thousands of rupees at gunpoint.
Later, they struck the residence of a doctor in a novel way. They knocked the door and as the doctor came out, they asked him to visit a patient who was in serious condition. In the meantime, they stormed into his residence, held up the family members at gunpoint and escaped after collecting cash and gold ornaments.
According to Sethar, a few days later these robbers forced their entry into another house situated in the Kot Radha Kishan area. As they started looting, the family put up resistance and managed to capture one of the bandits, later identified as Sarfraz. On the information provided by Sarfraz, the police carried out raids and arrested his three accomplices Zeeshan, Sunny and Amjad.
The police also recovered looted valuables worth Rs150,000 from their possession, besides four pistols. During preliminary investigations, one of the gangsters told the police that they were, in fact, untrained and it was just the beginning.
The police produced the robbers before a local court and got their physical remand for further interrogation. “We are interrogating the accused and we will arrest all the characters involved in this case,” Sethar maintained. He further said that it was unfortunate that college students had begun committing heinous crimes like armed robberies. He also observed that the students living in hostels or rented quarters were more vulnerable to crimes than those living with their parents.