In order to curb the crime, Singh had instructed police stations to book chain snatchers under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section for “robbery” instead of “theft” as the punishment for robbery is harsher than theft. He also had made an announcement to book repeated offenders (for chain snatching) under stringent legal provisions such as the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
However, three months on, not a single chain snatcher has been booked under the Act. Legal experts opined that the Act, which was enacted to check the underworld, would not be valid if applied against street criminals, unless the police bust a syndicate of chain snatchers, if any.
The Mumbai police have registered 918 cases of robberies till November 30 this year. in the corresponding period last year, 396 such cases were registered.
But Singh said that the police are doing their best. “In each police station, there are dedicated police officers to combat the crime and several chain snatchers have been nabbed this way. We are doing everything possible and are dedicated to make the city safer for women.”