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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Connaught Place snatching: ‘They kept chasing us, threatening to open fire’

The alleged snatching, which saw Bhandari and his wife being chased for over two kilometres through Hailey Road, Tolstoy Marg, Janpath, Kasturba Gandhi (KG) Marg and Connaught Place, took place between 5.35am and 5.45am.

delhi Updated: Sep 21, 2019 04:24 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bhandari said that the snatchers finally gave up only at the intersection of KG Marg and Outer Circle of Connaught Place.
Bhandari said that the snatchers finally gave up only at the intersection of KG Marg and Outer Circle of Connaught Place.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
         

Chased by gun-wielding snatchers on a largely empty Hailey Road in the early hours of Friday, all that Vinod Singh Bhandari, 34, and his wife Amrita Bohra, 33, could think of at the moment was getting to safety — a crowded place.

They rode their two-wheeeler — with the suspects hot in pursuit — to Connaught Place’s Outer Circle, but were only met with disappointment. Not a soul was present there.

“Later, I lost control of my vehicle and we fell in the middle of the road and were injured. But no one stopped, people in cars and crowded buses passed by and ignored us. We just wanted people by our side as we were scared that the snatchers would strike if they saw us alone,” said Bhandari, who works with a city hotel.

But Bhandari’s trauma did not end there. While his wife was rushed to Lady Hardinge Hospital for treatment of her fractured shoulder, Bhandari alleged that he spent the next six hours with the police, who squabbled among themselves over jurisdiction.

“I was made to spend over an hour at the crime spot, where officers told me that the footpath belonged to one police station while the road came under the jurisdiction of another station. The officers of Tilak Marg, Barakhamba and Parliament Street police stations discussed jurisdiction for hours before the first information report was finally registered at Connaught Place police station around noon,” Bhandari alleged.

The alleged snatching, which saw Bhandari and his wife being chased for over two kilometres through Hailey Road, Tolstoy Marg, Janpath, Kasturba Gandhi (KG) Marg and Connaught Place, took place between 5.35am and 5.45am.

Eish Singhal, deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi), denied that there was any dispute over the jurisdiction. “The policemen were only ascertaining the exact spot where the crime took place,” said Singhal.

Bohra, who works as a team leader for a private firm, was to catch a train from New Delhi station to her parents’ home in Uttar Pardesh’s Rampur to meet her 18-month-old daughter, when the two motorcycle-borne men allegedly intercepted the couple.

It was at that moment on Hailey Road that the couple decided to make a dash for a crowded area. “During the entire chase, the snatchers closed on to us several times. The men were armed. The man riding pillion kept waving his gun and repeating ‘give your purse and mobile phone or we will shoot’,” said Bhandari.

“It seemed like they will really shoot us. So, when we neared the Janpath traffic junction, my wife told me she was throwing her gold chain towards them to keep them away. We got the fright of our lives when we saw them resume the chase after picking up the chain,” said Bhandari.

Bhandari said that the snatchers finally gave up only at the intersection of KG Marg and Outer Circle of Connaught Place.

“The motorcycle rider was wearing a helmet, but the pillion rider was unmasked. I can identify him,” said Bhandari.

Even as the police are yet to make a breakthrough in the case, Bohra prepared to undergo a surgery at a private hospital for treatment of her fractured shoulder.

First Published: Sep 21, 2019 00:00 IST

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