Committing burglary and then setting the house afire in broad daylight seems to be a new crime trend in the Piplani and Govindpura areas in Bhopal. Criminals in these areas are burning the houses of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) employees after committing burglary.
At least four such cases have been reported in the past two months with the recent one being reported on Monday in the C sector of BHEL colony. The police are investigating the cases but no arrest has been made so far.
On Monday, a similar case was reported in the Piplani police station, when the house of a BHEL employee, identified as Chotelal Kori, was burnt by unknown persons. No major damage was done as the children playing in the locality saw the smoke belching from the house in time and alerted the neighbours about it.
In another incident, unknown persons burnt the house of another BHEL employee Hemant Gaur after taking away the jewellery and other valuables. That time, Hemant had gone out of town to attend a wedding.
“They burnt my house by setting clothes and mattresses on fire before fleeing away with the jewellery. The fire engulfed the electronic appliances kept in the house, leading to a loss of about `2.5 lakh,” said Gaur.
He told HT the incidents of robbing and burning the houses of BHEL employees have instilled insecurity and fear in the minds of other employees living in the BHEL colony.
“The employees are now afraid of even going out in the market as they fear that criminals may burn their houses too. The most worrisome thing in these incidents is that all are happening in broad daylight. Many employees who had planned to go out to spend their vacations with their family are now cancelling their plans,” added Gaur.
BHEL employee Deepak Gupta, who is the president of Youth Indian National Trade Union Congress, said it was the responsibility of the management of the organisation to provide security to the employees. “The management is spending over `4 crore for security in its colonies and despite that these incidents are happening. If the management can’t ensure the security to employees and prevent such incidents, then the employees will not able to work freely,” added Gupta.
The BHEL management, however, claimed the security in the colonies has been beefed up to prevent such incidents.
“The security in the colonies has been enhanced with about 60 private security guards patrolling the colonies during the daytime. We have also decided to form a committee comprising members of management, employees union and employees of the organization to look into the matter and decide what measures can be taken to ensure security,” said BHEL public relation officer Vinodanand Jha.
The police have also increased its patrolling in these colonies to prevent such incidents in the future and nab the accused.
“We have increased our patrolling during the daytime and have given our numbers to the residents to call us if they find someone suspicious. In the initial investigation, it was found that the accused are aged between 15-18 years. Investigations are on and the accused would be nabbed soon,” said city superintendent of police(Govindpura) Ajay Singh.