Thin police deployment at vulnerable spots in Gurugram

During a late­ night spot check, HT found no patrolling at vulnerable areas from where thefts and carjacking incidents have been reported

gurgaon Updated: Jun 05, 2018 08:02 IST
Leena Dhankhar and Pavneet  Singh Chadha
Leena Dhankhar and Pavneet Singh Chadha
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,Police night patrol,Gurugram Police
Reality check of night patrolling by police at sensitive spots, where many cases of theft from cars have been reported near South Point Mall at Golf Course road, in Gurugram, June 3, 2018.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

Though Gurugram police assures improved policing with better deployment and more checkpoints to crack down on criminals, a spot check of vulnerable areas by an HT team on Sunday night revealed several shortcomings indicating that the areas are still outside the safety net.

Police deployment was found to be thin, with no checkpoints set up near South Point Mall on Golf Course Road or Sector 29, areas where a high number of car theft cases are reported.

Only one PCR van was on patrol.

The Genpact crossing, known for penalising maximum drink driving offenders, had no police deployment either.

South Point Mall, Golf Course Road – 10.35pm

In the past week, miscreants have stolen laptops and valuables from at least three cars by breaking window panes, targeting vehicles parked on the 100-metre stretch of road outside the South Point Mall, as per police records.

On the 200-metre stretch between Sector 43 and Sector 53 Metro station, streetlights were found defunct, a potential safety concern for visitors.

Dev Kumar (24), an auto driver, who frequently ferries commuters from the spot, said that the police deployment was thin despite a recent incident of a purse being snatched from a woman. Kumar said only one PCR van is mostly stationed at a distance of 100 metres from the mall, but the HT team could find none.

The security staff at the mall, however, said that the area was safe and no thefts had taken place. Vipin Kumar, the security guard on night duty who has been deployed at the same place for last three years, said, “The police make some rounds during late night hours.”

During those 35 minutes, the HT team did not find any officer visiting the stretch.

Sector 29– 11.20pm

The area, a hub of restaurants, pubs, and bars, has come under the scanner in the wake of vehicle thefts and carjacking.

Only two beat constables on a motorcycle were seen, while no PCR van was seen patrolling the streets. Although the road from Iffco Chowk Metro station to Sector 29 market was well lit, the exit junction of the market was a dark spot, with streetlights not functional.

Around 100 vehicles were found parked in the unauthorised parking slots, despite recent car robberies at gunpoint.

Inspector Vikas Kumar, station house officer, Sector 29 police station, said the only spot where adequate police deployment was noticed on Sunday night was MG Road. The deployment followed a hit-and-run incident.

“Two men were arrested in connection with the hit-and-run incident. Twenty five policemen were deployed at two checkpoints,” he said.

Sohna Road – 12.20pm After taking a left from Sector

30, the HT team went towards Sector 45, Bakhtawar Chowk, Subhash Chowk and Sohna Road. During the 15-minute drive, four policemen from Sector 40 police station were seen deployed at the spot near Raj restaurant in Sector

45. An officer, who asked not to be named, said that the checkpoint was set up on Saturday morning, in the light of the recent carjacking incidents.

Three vehicles were robbed after the owners were held at gunpoint on Friday and Saturday.

Golf Course Extension Road - 12:50 pm

After taking a left from Sohna road towards Golf Course Extension Road, not one streetlight was found functional. The straight road connects Mewat where several notorious gangs are believed to operate. One checkpoint was spotted near Raheja Mall where two vehicle thefts were reported, on Saturday and Sunday.

Trucks were speeding on both sides of the stretch, while police personnel were stationed only on the carriageway towards Sector 57. Three barricades were placed at a short distance of 20 metres near a private school and Nirvana Escape apartment.

On Saturday night, two youths suffered serious injuries after an Audi rammed their bike. The road is known as one of the most unsafe stretches for motorists at night.

The police said they have deployed three policemen at one checkpoint in areas within the jurisdictions of each police station.

“Night patrolling is conducted in sensitive areas and mostly on stretches fwhere maximum crimes are reported,” Anil Kumar, ACP(DLF), said.

“Police presence should be boosted on stretches which are crime-prone. Despite rising cases of vehicle theft, snatching and hit-and-runs, there is no change, with regard to police deployment, on the ground. On each road, there should be a minimum of 10 policemen every five kilometres,” Veena Gupta, a self-defence expert who founded WESS Women Empowerment Safety and Security, Gurugram, said.

First Published: Jun 05, 2018 08:02 IST