Capital crime: Woman dragged by snatchers, man shot, judge robbed
A middle-aged woman was dragged on the road as she attempted to save her handbag from alleged snatchers, a businessman was shot by a man in the middle of a crowded alley, and a city judge was robbed of her belongings while driving home by a “thak-thak” gang in three new instances of growing street crimes that came to light on Friday.
On Friday morning, the 54-year-old woman was injured and hospitalised as she fell on the road and was dragged for about 20 metres while fighting off three men who attempted to snatch her bag in west Delhi’s Madipur near Punjabi Bagh. The suspects failed to steal the bag, police officials said.
“Seeing me alone, they took a U-turn and pulled my bag from my shoulder. I immediately held onto it and fell on the road. They dragged me on the road for almost 20 metres but I did not lose my grip on the bag and screamed for help. The snatchers fled after they saw some people,” said the victim.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (west) Sameer Sharma said that a case of voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery and common intention under sections 394 and 34 of Indian Penal Code has been registered at the Punjabi Bagh police station. “Three teams have been formed to identify and nab the suspects,” said Sharma.
Investigators are scanning closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras of areas around the crime scene for clues about the suspects.
The incident is only the latest in a spate of such crimes targeting people in everyday circumstances, with at least four instances from the past week. In one of these cases, which took place in a crowded neighbourhood in south Delhi’s CR Park, the victim was left with serious injury after she was dragged out of the auto.
Earlier on Tuesday, two men on a motorcycle followed the car of an additional session judge of Saket Court for almost three kilometres, smashed the rear window at a traffic signal and fled with a purse. The incident took place at Okhla Industrial Area, police said on Friday.
The judge, who asked not to reveal her identity, said that she left the court around 8pm and was followed for several kilometres. The suspects first asked her to stop the vehicle while signalling a mechanical problem. The robbery took place when she stopped at a red light.
Gangs that carry out such robberies, where the targets are usually fooled into stopping by being told that there was something wrong with their vehicle, have earned the moniker “thak-thak” gang.
On Thursday, a man armed with two pistols — one in each hand — opened fire on a 54-year-old man in the narrow lanes of northeast Delhi’s Brahmpuri on Thursday evening. The man was injured, but is out of danger, the police said.
Police said that the men, both from a village near Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, are acquainted and the attack was the fallout of a rivalry.
LN Rao, former deputy commissioner of Delhi Police who worked in the force for more than three decades, said the spate of crimes was alarming. “Delhi was never unsafe like this. There is snatching everywhere. The police must activate their intelligence network and start monitoring the active and known criminals. Instead of focusing just on solving, we should be able to prevent these cases. It can be done. If the local criminal is making money, the intelligence should be such that the police know about the criminal’s activities. Snatchers have a network. It can be broken. It just needs more work, hard work.”