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What are the police doing?

Gurgaon is fast becoming a victim of its own prosperity. The urge to live it up is driving many local youths to crime. Instances of carjacking, robbery and burglary are on the rise, reports Sanjeev K Ahuja. Special Coverage

india Updated: Sep 28, 2008 14:49 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

Gurgaon is fast becoming a victim of its own prosperity. On the one hand, the urge to live it up is driving many local youths to crime. Instances of carjacking, robbery, burglary and petty snatching are on the rise. At the same time, alert to the soaring crime graph, the city’s residents are leading more guarded lives. The police’s sorry record of checking crime does nothing for their confidence.

Shakuntala Sood, a Sushant Lok resident, has given up her morning walks ever since her gold chain was snatched in August.

“I was strolling near my house along with my husband, around 6.30 am. Two youths on a motorcycle sped up behind us and one of them tugged the chain off my neck,” says Shakuntala.

Another resident, Urmila Singh, now prefers plastic money to cash. Her purse was snatched on the Expressway by motorcycle-borne youths.

The police’s claim of busting biker gangs fell flat on Thursday evening when an exporter was chased by armed robbers on the Gurgaon Expressway. He was stopped, assaulted and nearly abducted.

Every month, 2-3 instances of carjacking are reported in Gurgaon. Luxury cars and SUVs are prime targets. Following a spate of such incidents, many car owners and taxi fleet operators have installed Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in their vehicles.

“GPS is expensive and increases our operating costs but we cannot afford to lose our vehicles to goons. We have asked the BPO that uses our cabs late at night to bear a part of the cost of installing GPS devices,” says a travel agency owner.

“On a number of occasions, groups of boys have obstructed our office cars, attacked the executives and snatched their cash, mobile phones and other valuables just outside the Sector 32 Institutional Area. Our complaints to the local police station as well as the Police Commissioner have yielded no results,” says MS Verma, a senior BPO executive.

Shalini Wadhawa, spokesperson for DLF Limited, says their request to the Haryana government for erecting a boundary wall around DLF City areas lying along the Expressway and MG road has been acceded.

“If a boundary wall is erected, strangers would have limited access to our localities and we would require fewer guards. Even the police department would have to deploy fewer personnel,” says Wadhawa.

“DLF authorities recently installed fog laps in those parts of DLF City where incidents of burglary and robbery have been reported,” says RK Sharma of DLF Qutub Enclave residents welfare association. Police patrolling, too, has been increased in Phase III, says Sharma.