The attack on a 60-year-old woman in a moving autorickshaw has sent jitters across Bandra and the surrounding areas of Khar and Santacruz, surging levels of concern for senior citizens here.
Residents claim that growing population in the city fuelled by increasing unemployment is leading to increase in incidents of petty thefts and chain snatching.
On Friday evening, two men entered the autorickshaw in which Shirin Somani, 60, was travelling in and robbed and physically assaulted her.
“Bandra and peripheral areas such as Khar and Santacruz are becoming increasingly unsafe and it is a real pity when senior citizens are made targets,” said Ananidini Thakoor, chairperson, H-West Federation and managing trustee Khar Residents’ Association. “Unless stricter punishment is given for crimes against senior citizens, the situation won’t improve.”
Sabina Honnavar, 76, who has been a victim of chain snatching twice, said: “The fear that sets in after does not easily subside. People are more afraid now and as a result are also more careful when they see suspicious people on the streets.”
“We see chain snatchers and small-time criminals taking advantage of crowded streets to steal people’s belongings, Earlier, we would take a night stroll without any worries, but now are afraid to go out,” said Sanjeevani Kashikar, 70.
H-West Federation has held interactions between the police and watchmen of residential buildings to brief them about enhancing security on the streets. “We know the police is short-staffed. If the watchman of every building keeps an eye on the adjoining road, then such incidents can be avoided to a certain extent,” said Thakoor.