Kozhikode: The petroleum dealers in the district are on their toes following two theft incidents reported this year. On May 9 midnight, a masked man robbed Rs 1,08,000 at gunpoint from A.E.K fuel station near NIT when the proprietor closed the outlet and was to go home with the daily collection. There was no arrest in the case until now.
On December 3, at 11 pm, another masked man attacked the Bharat Petroleum outlet at Karanthur. But during the scuffle between the robber and the outlet staff, though the robber managed to get the cash containing bag, currencies of Rs 1,70,000 fell from it, and the robber cannot snatch it.
The two incidents occurred at midnight under Kunnamangalam police limits.
The petroleum dealers' association on Wednesday met district collector and police commissioner seeking police protection.
"If protection was not available, we will be forced to wind up the business by 6 pm. No one dares to work at the outlets at night," says association president M.P. Asokan.
He says that already there is a scarcity of people to be employed in outlets due to meagre salary.
There are 165 fuel outlets in the district which supplies fuel of public sector oil companies. Of that, 60 functions round the clock.
"Many 12-hour outlets close at 10 pm, and it will take another 1-1.5 hours to leave the outlet after settling the daily account. That time is scary now," he says.
According to A.E.K fuel station proprietor Aneesha E., police said they had no clue so far.
No CCTV was functioning during the first incident due to a torrential downpour, and in the second case, the robber has not appeared on the camera. The association is thinking about a state-wide protest....