The twin carjacking incidents on National Highway 24 have highlighted how its stretches have become playgrounds for gangs who commit crimes at will and escape into nearby areas of Ghaziabad.
Intense policing of the stretches is necessary as they are the sites of several housing projects, located along the three highways, NH 24, NH 58 and GT Road, that pass through Ghaziabad.
Police will be under increased pressure following the incidents to provide security to those using the highways and the others living along them.
Criminal gangs are known to have targeted consignment-laden trucks, while others have attacked cars and vehicles. Some gangs rob passengers after offering them lifts in their vehicles.
Six suspected carjackers arrested recently from the area have admitted to injecting people with sleep-inducing medicines and driving away with their vehicles. The six were arrested when they were trying to get away on a truck on NH 24.
The police said most of the gangs are armed and unafraid to shoot in case of trouble.
During Tuesday's incidents, .32 calibre weapons were used, the police said.
Area residents have demanded intense policing to tackle robbery on the highways.
"The police hardly have any presence at night. Travelling at night with family members is unsafe," Mohan Sangwan, of the Indirapuram resident welfare association, said.
Of the 61 robberies in Ghaziabad this year, the police said that around 15% take place on the highways.
Ghaziabad police chief Prashant Kumar said most of the robberies on the highways occur in the secluded, poorly lit stretches.
"We are working on the two cases and the culprits will be nabbed soon," Kumar said.