Villages in the National Capital Region are where all criminals come to roost. Be it dumping a body, abandoning vehicles used in committing a crime, hiding a kidnapped child, or procuring illegal weapons, villages are a safe harbour.
Eighteen-month-old Ishaan Singh, who was kidnapped by his domestic help from his parents’ Maharani Bagh home, was rescued from a village in Faridabad. The Dhaula Kuan gangrape accused were arrested from Mewat. The tailor, who allegedly stalked and killed DU student Radhika Tanwar, procured a gun from Gurgaon. After killing her, he took a local train to Gurgaon from where he escaped to Mumbai.
And merely two days ago, criminals abducted a businessman from Delhi, killed him and to misguide the police, dumped his body in Karnal in Haryana. The car used in the crime was found abandoned in Ghaziabad.
According to the police, these crooks manage to flee to Delhi’s adjoining towns easily after committing crimes in the Capital due to the city’s porous borders.
“Criminals manage to move out of Delhi because of easy access. There have been several instances where we have arrested a crook from NCR towns,” DCP (crime) Ashok Chand said. Delhi is surrounded by Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. “Often we find them hiding in the villages of these two states,” said a senior police officer.
The police of the neighbouring districts feel the same. On Sunday, robbers managed to sneak into Delhi after committing a crime in Gurgaon. “It's been a long-pending problem. A criminal feels safe once he moves out of the area where he committed the crime. In such cases, we alert the neighbouring district police. But for them, cases under their jurisdiction are more important than ours. We do hold coordination meetings but there is no solution as such. We do try to help each other out,” Gurgaon Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Mittal said.
There are over 50 points from where a criminal can escape from Delhi—all of them are poorly manned. One can get into Gurgaon through 18 points.
Barring a few arterial roads, most of these links are narrow lanes, which pass through villages. Most local criminals know these lanes by heart and easily escape through them.
And meanwhile the police are busy putting barricades and checking vehicles on main roads. “Though we increase vigilance on main roads after every big crime, keeping an eye on every small entry is impossible,” an officer said.
“Tracing a crook hiding in Delhi is far more easy than looking for him in neighbouring towns for we know several of their possible hideouts. But since the NCR area has kept on increasing, it is difficult to track movements of these criminals. For instance, to arrest the Dhaula Kuan gangrape accused, over 300 policemen were send to Mewat as we were expecting resistance from locals,” the officer added.
Delhi Police also feel that background checks while renting a flat in neighbouring states is not as strict as in Delhi.
“Ishaan's kidnappers took him to a small village in Faridabad. They didn’t have to go through verification for renting a flat. Moreover, there are more isolated places in NCR towns and so chances of their getting caught are less in comparison to Delhi,” the officer said.