Away from the glitter of ritzy shopping malls and multiplexes, criminal gangs — often dangerously armed with murders or robbery on their minds — are calling the shots in Ghaziabad and Noida. Fear lurks behind closed doors and outside; residents talk in hushed whispers of the latest victim(s) of crime.
In February, an armed, unidentified intruder sliced open the body of four-year-old Sarthak Chawla, before stabbing his mother doctor Deepti (30) eight times in her Ghaziabad flat.
In October, just 25 km from Ghaziabad in Noida’s Sector 34, four armed men robbed a Honda City from Anup Tyagi (40, an IT consultant) as his wife watched in horror. Within an hour, the same gang robbed two other Honda City cars. The same month, minutes after her gold necklace was snatched at gunpoint by two bike-borne youth — the second such incident in three months — housewife C. Rajeshwari vowed to wear only artificial jewellery in future.
Delhi’s suburbs also have the dubious distinction of being home two of the worst crimes this decade — the Nithari killings (2005-06) and the murder of teenager Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj Banjade (May 16, 2008).