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Who will tame the snatchers?

Sanjay Bhargava, a resident of Chandni Chowk, said the snatchers were quite dangerous, some of them even carrying surgical blades.

delhi Updated: Mar 30, 2009 00:51 IST
Vijaita Singh
Vijaita Singh
Hindustan Times

Rohini resident Taruna Kochar had gone to a temple on the evening of March 26.

In the crowd, she felt a hand sliding into her purse. Before she could react, her mobile phone was gone. “I saw the man turning back. I ran after him but he just got lost in the crowd,” said the 29-year-old housewife.

“I went to the security guards who directed me to a policeman standing nearby. Despite repeated requests, police did not register a case and made me sign on a mobile loss form. I even told them that the temple is covered by a CCTV and they could identify the thief. They refused to check the footage. The thief had the audacity to snatch the phone in broad daylight and at a crowded place,” said Kochar.

Kochar is not alone. A day after Hindustan Times reported that snatch gangs were having a free run in the city, readers shared their dreadful experiences.

Usha Venugopal, a schoolteacher, was brave enough to give her snatchers a chase. Usha’s chain was snatched on March 15 around 5.30 p.m. at a congested traffic intersection point in Anand Vihar area of east Delhi.

“I was driving my car and had covered my gold chain with my dupatta. My daughter was beside me. It all happened in a second and someone snatched the chain. I saw the man and even chased him but to no avail. He had been following my car,” she said.

In 2009, the snatching cases may have gone up only marginally compared to last year. But if the police register all such cases, the figures can go up substantially.

“We register FIRs under the appropriate sections of law. If any policeman is found guilty we do take serious action against him. People can also approach senior officers or officers in the vigilance department,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesman, Delhi Police.

Ravinder Singh, a resident of Taimoor Nagar wrote in an email to HT: “I was in my car near the gurudwara at New Friends Colony when all of a sudden a man appeared on the scene and snatched my mobile phone. I went to the police and asked them to register a FIR, but they did not. They took my complaint and asked me to leave.”

He added that incidents of mugging and snatching were common in the area due to the proximity of a slum inhabited mostly by illegal immigrants and the police refuse to help.

Sanjay Bhargava, a resident of Chandni Chowk, said the snatchers were quite dangerous, some of them even carrying surgical blades.

“A few days ago a snatcher who was carrying a blade tried to attack a woman when she resisted. Her chain had been snatched. This is a heritage market. Every day we hear of incidents where women’s belongings are snatched. When we complained to rein in such accused, the police say they don’t have enough strength,” wrote Sanjay Bhargava in his email.

First Published: Mar 30, 2009 00:50 IST