ONCE AGAIN there is a rise in crime in Bhopal. There has been a spate of burglaries, thefts and chain-snatchings in the preceding week. On September 27, there was a dacoity at Vidhya Nagar and on September 21, two incidents of burglary and chain snatching took place at Arera Colony, city’s supposedly best-protected area. During the week ending September 16, as many as 8 incidents of purse and chain snatching were reported from different parts of the city. The scenes of crime were dimly-lit roads or street corners.
The houses targeted were those whose owners were out of town. Surprisingly, all the cases have remained untraced. True, a gang of vehicle lifters was nabbed and a dozen vehicles, mostly motorcycles, recovered, there was, however, no clue about the fresh wave of chain-snatchings, vehicle thefts and burglaries.
The spurt in crime can be attributed to acute paucity of staff in city police stations. The concept of beat constables patrolling their areas which is so effective for keeping an eye on movement of criminals has almost disappeared. Most police stations of the city are understaffed.
There is no end in sight to VIP duties that have consumed a sizable chunk of available policemen. Moreover, dharnas, chakka jams, burning of effigies and a whole lot of other demonstrations put heavy pressure on police. The State government will be well advised to look into the matter and devise ways and means to prevent the continuing slide into lawlessness.