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Snatchers have a free run

Vijay Laxmi, 59-year-old housewife, can’t believe that someone snatched her chain while she was in her car. Vijaita Singh reports.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2009 01:06 IST
Vijaita Singh

Vijay Laxmi, 59-year-old housewife, can’t believe that someone snatched her chain while she was in her car.

Laxmi was in the car with her husband and three others when the incident took place on Wednesday around 5.40 pm. They were waiting for the traffic signal to turn green at a busy intersection in RK Puram’s Sector 1.

“I thought such incidents took place in desolate lanes. I was wrong. I was sitting in the middle on the rear seat of the car with two friends. We were waiting for the light to turn green when a man suddenly reached through the car window and snatched my mangalsutra. It was so shocking. I am not safe even in my car,” said Laxmi, a resident of Sarita Vihar. She was on her way to a temple when the incident was reported.

On March 25, 10 cases of snatching were reported from various parts of New Friends Colony, Sarita Vihar, Hazrat Nizamuddin, RK Puram, Sarojini Nagar and Dwarka.

Busy areas targeted

Earlier, snatchers would target women on deserted stretches. But over time they have got audacious, striking people at busy intersections, on flyovers, bus stops, public buses and even in autorickshaws and cars.

On Wednesday afternoon, a woman’s belongings were snatched on the busy road in Sarita Vihar in southeast Delhi. Within an hour, belongings of three more people were snatched in Hazrat Nizamuddin and Modi Mill flyover areas.

‘Peak hours’ no deterrent

Police said that earlier the snatchers would target women early in the morning, as the streets were not crowded, making escape easy.

"Off late, we have seen that the snatchers have started targeting people during peak afternoon and evening hours. Even the rush-hour traffic is not a deterrent for them," said a senior police officer.

Police do not register cases

Till March 15 this year, 231 cases of snatching were reported from the city.

“The police sometimes do not register a case. They discourage victims by saying that they would have to go to courts to attend hearings and it would be troublesome,” said Sushil Sharma of Residents Welfare Association of Dwarka.

Prone areas Dwarka and Rohini

“The wide and poorly lit roads suit motorcycle-borne criminals who strike with impunity,” said Sharma.