The attack was foiled by a fearless customer at the shop.
Rajnish Singh Thakur, the shopkeeper, suffered injuries to his neck and hand and is now undergoing intensive care treatment.
Thakur, who is physically challenged, was saved from the attacker by a customer inside the shop who managed to overpower Sheikh, he said adding that the accused is part of a gang of drug addicts which has been extorting money from shopkeepers since sometime.
He also said that far from being cowed down by the incident, the shopkeepers will raise their voices louder and ensure that the druggies are brought to book.
Police later arrested five men of the gang. “The DCP had instructed the concerned police personnel to take action against the culprits”, he said. The attack was linked to extortionists in Mumbai’s Chembur area, who had threatened to attack shops which did not pay them regularly. His brother Manish said, “Had it not been for the customer, my brother would not be alive today”. Police is in search of two other suspects. “The main accused, Shaikh, informed us that they had decided to take revenge by attacking the victim because he had formed an association and had united the shopkeepers”.
But, he says he has received threats and is anxious about his family and has not left home since after the incident. Four of them were later arrested.