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Cases of snatching, theft rise on dark stretches

Police said dark stretches embolden thieves to strike at will. In 2017, the city recorded 4,242 vehicle theft cases and 509 snatching cases.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 09, 2018 09:01 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gurugram,Gurgaon,Crime in Gurgaon
Residents of sectors 3, 5 and 6 pooled funds to install streetlights in these areas.(HT Photo/Parveen Kumar)

Millennium City Gurugram has some of the best shopping centres, corporate offices, residential societies and restaurants in the National Capital Region but ironically, it lacks a civic amenity as basic as streetlights.

Police said criminals often take advantage of the dimly lit roads and target residents who venture out after sundown. Cases of street crime such as snatching have been reported from several areas, specially on the stretches which are poorly lit.

According to Gurugram police data, the recently developed areas in Sector 10A, Palam Vihar, Manesar, IMT, Manesar and Bajghera often cases of thefts and molestations.

“I think twice before going to a nearby market alone after sundown. The street near my house is not

well lit and I fear someone may target me,” Pushp Dahiya, a resident of Sector 52, said.

Residents said that inadequate streetlights has led to a spurt in crime, especially in incidents of vehicle theft, chain snatching and harassment of women.

Officials said that over the last four months, several accidents have been reported after sundown on the road connecting Sector 37C, Sector 110A and other developing sectors near Manesar, leaving 25 dead and 58 injured. Police said poor visibility is largely to blame for the spate of accidents on the stretch.

Sumit Kuhar, DCP (crime), said, “We have been writing to civic agencies on the need to install streetlights on poorly lit stretches, as snatchers and molesters often manage to escape in the cover of darkness. Also, broken roads have also led to several accidents in developing sectors.”

Data collected from Sector 10 A, Palam Vihar, Bajghera, Manesar and IMT Manesar police stations reveal that the majority of fatal accidents were reported at night, as motorists couldn’t ascertain the distance of their vehicles from others due to inadequate

streetlights.

On May 15, a woman from Taksila Heights in Sector 37C suffered injuries after she fell off her scooter on her way home. She told police that she couldn’t spot a pothole in the dark.

“I have not seen a single streetlight working here since we moved to the society. For someone who is not familiar with the state of this road, driving on it is akin to putting one’s life at risk,” Vikas Bansal, general secretary, Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA), Taksila Heights in Sector 37C, said.

Police said dark stretches embolden thieves to strike at will. In 2017, the city recorded 4,242 vehicle theft cases and 509 snatching cases.

Till April 30, this year, as many as 1,558 cases of vehicle theft and another 136 of snatching have been registered in the city.

The city’s crime data suggests that such cases have been on the rise since 2014.

“This is an alarming situation. I have stopped wearing gold ornaments in public places for fear of snatchers. A few days ago, a woman’s chain was snatched by two people on a bike, near my house. One simply doesn’t know what’s coming when one is motoring or walking on a dark or poorly lit road,” Himani Gangwar, a resident of Palam Vihar, said.

The road behind the Kingdom of Dreams in Sector 29 also lacks functional streetlights. A dozen snatching cases and 90 vehicle theft cases have been reported from the area, so far, this year, and the police blamed the incidents on poorly lit roads.

The Golf Course Extension Road, which is used by residents of upscale societies in sectors 55, 56 and 57, plunges into darkness after sundown.

First Published: Jun 09, 2018 08:54 IST