When it comes to crime, East Delhi’s geography has failed its residents.
In the past 10 days, as many as five cases of snatching have been reported from the area.
The police say criminals arrive on a daily basis to the area, commit the crimes and flee to Uttar Pradesh.
In the last few days, a security guard has been killed, Rs 25 lakh snatched and two journalists assaulted.
On Friday, armed snatchers attacked a workingwoman in a crowded street in Patparganj.
They fled in an autorickshaw after snatching her chain. The incident took place near Batla Apartments in Patparganj around 8.30 pm.
Ditipriya Banerjee, who works with Parivar Seva Sangh, an NGO, was waiting in front of a shop to buy a cold drink when the two men, aged around 20 who were buying cigarettes, suddenly pounced on her and snatched her chain.
“I was shocked. One of them attacked me while another guarded a paanwala who was near me,” said Banerjee.
“They ran towards an autorickshaw after that and fled from the spot.”
Some of the fruit vendors tried to catch them but failed.
There have been 72 such cases in this year alone. The police, however, claim the figures are not ‘alarming’.
The police say that sharing its borders with Uttar Pradesh has contributed to the increase in crime in the district.
Why the increase?
“It is hard to keep track of offenders as most criminals do not have a criminal record here,” said a senior police officer, who is not authorised to speak to the media.
The police also believe that snatching is the easiest crime to commit.
“All you need is a fast motorcycle and brute force and you are in business,” said the officer.
This is the reason the police believe that some of the residents in the JJ colonies in the area are also committing the crime.
With the easy availability of country-made guns, most use them to scare their victims.
Another crucial factor that, police claim, has forever been favouring the snatchers is Delhi’s hot weather.
In winters people wear layers of clothes, making it difficult for snatchers to commit the crime.
“In summers, it is easier as snatchers can locate their targets from a distance and attack them,” the officer added.
More than 50 per cent cases of snatching involve gold chains. Banks and bus stands are the most common logistical targets.
The police believe most cases involve young men looking for easy money. But they say an organised gang also operates in the area.
“We have intensified our efforts. We have also met some bank officials,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Anand Mohan said.
“We have increased the vigil around the borders and are also checking motorcyclists. Every case is being taken seriously and we will soon catch the culprits.”