Increasing snatchings bring issue of safety to forefront

  • Gurpreet Singh Chhina, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Sep 20, 2015 22:12 IST

Recently-held snatchings in the city -around five residents were targeted on September 14 - as many as 131 snatchings have already been reported till August 31 - have brought up the issue of safety of resident to the forefront; as the police have failed to solve most cases, for neither CCTV footages helped to get clues nor sketches were prepared to nab miscreants.

The police, however, shrug off their responsibility saying crimes take place within minutes and victims usually fail to see snatchers. However, they claimed juveniles arrested for snatchings - and later released - could be behind these crimes.

On September 14, several women in the city were targeted. In the first case, Pushpa Gupta (50) of Sector 20 reported two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons - who were not wearing helmets - fled after snatching her gold chain outside her house when she was going to office. She could not note down the registration number, except the colour, which was black. A case under sections 356 (assault or criminal force in attempt to commit theft of property carried by a person) and 379 (punishment for theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered at the Sector 19 police station.

Similarly, snatchers fled with gold chains of two women on September 13. An investigating officer, seeking anonymity, said he had tried to procure CCTV footage from cameras installed at various light points but couldn't find anything; as snatchers might have absconded from the route where no cameras were installed.

However, in a snatching case on August 25, snatchers took away gold chain of a retired brigadier's wife, Dolly Lamba (70), while she was reading newspaper in her lawn. The CCTV footage procured from the camera installed next to her house was provided to the police but to no avail as cops claimed the visuals was not so clear to identify the accused.

Police theory

After analysing black Bajaj Pulsar motorcycles were used in the majority of the snatching incidents reported from the city this year, the UT police, who have been grappling to curb crimes in the city, have asked their patrolling parties and beat staff to check the movement of motorcycles in their respective areas.

What SSP says?

Senior superintendent of police Sukhchain Singh Gill said around 80 snatchings were already solved, and the crime branch and police stations were asked to check the records of different criminals to find out if a gang was operating in the city. He added the Panchkula police had nabbed some snatchers and details were being sought to know if they were also involved in crimes in Chandigarh. He said the sketches could not be made as in most cases victims failed to see the faces of criminals.

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