Child thieves crashing weddings active again?

  • Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 29, 2015 16:12 IST

Wedding season has again been marked with children committing thefts at marriages.

Police claim a seven-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister, who they found dressed in finery and roaming aimlessly at a wedding in Sector 49, had admitted to have committed theft there. They were detained and sent to Snehalaya, a destitute home in Maloya.

During a counselling session, the girl said they hailed from Madhya Pradesh and had come to Chandigarh with their mother, who was staying at the railway station. However, the police failed to trace the children’s mother at the railway station, following which they were sent to Snehalaya. The girl also failed to respond on how she and her brother reached the wedding venue in Sector 49 from the railway station.

Also, the girl’s clothes contradicted her claim that they sneaked into the wedding as they were feeling hungry. But she admitted that her brother had stolen a woman’s purse and was caught.

Following her confession, the police have initiated investigation and directed the Snehalaya authorities not to release the children without intimating them.

Police sources said earlier too a gang of miscreants was active in the tricity. The miscreants used to sneak into marriage parties and decamped with bags containing ‘shagun’ envelopes. A few members of the gang were arrested, bringing an end to the menace, until now.

They added that such gangs used children aged between 10 and 14 to commit thefts after sneaking into wedding ceremonies. Women and children are trained to commit the thefts and hand the stolen articles and cash to men waiting outside.

The police claimed that these gangs did not follow any particular pattern, except that they used children dressed in finery.

Chandigarh senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh Gill, “We are suspecting handiwork of a gang behind these children’s activities. But investigations are at a very preliminary stage. We have asked the authorities not to hand over custody of the children without intimating us so that the persons involved can be arrested.”

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