“The alerts have been issued as the criminals try to commit crimes during the festival. They usually target women wearing jewellery in ‘Pandals’ and Festive-Gatherings.”- A Senior Police Officer
Despite the fact that Delhi has become one of the most polluted cities not only in India, but in the world too, it still usually remains quite cool and breezy in the early hours. Hence, in view of sound health, it is good to have that fresh aroma, at least once a day!! Taking this into account, my friend’s mom-in-law, along with few of her peer-group, decided to test this ‘natural and wonder therapy’. All ladies made it a point to leave around six in the morning, and come back by eight, because traffic in Delhi and NCR start early, turning the air polluted and poisonous!!
But unfortunately, the ladies couldn’t continue their zest for good health, cheer and merry for so long!! One day, while on their joy of walking, 3 pillion riders surrounded them and forcefully snatched their chains and earrings. It all happened so suddenly, that four among those five ladies couldn’t even realize, when my friend’s mom-in-law fell down on the road and got severe injuries, not only around her neck, but also, on the head due to the impact of forceful fall. She had to be hospitalized not only for the physical injuries, but also for the mental trauma she had to face in her elderly years. It’s a Gurugram case, popularly known as Gurgaon.
Two of my friends, Neerja and Prerna (Name Changed) who stay in Dwarka, had similar experiences. As Neerja stepped out of her society apartment gate to hire a cycle-rickshaw, suddenly, two men in the motorcycle, pulled her gold chain and, were in no time, out of sight. Prerna had gone to buy some daily need products from a Dairy just outside her society gate, when suddenly, her chain also got snatched in the same manner. Due to the fall and injuries, she fell unconscious, and had to be taken to the hospital.
Chain snatching cases are the most common crimes committed in Noida too. Lately, an old man was robbed of his cash and gold ‘Kada’ he wore. He was coming out of ATM. Even the daily wagers and labourers are not spared!! Many house maids and even cycle-rickshaw pullers have complained about their money and mobiles being snatched by such hooligans.
These culprits can go to any extent, sometimes dare to even kill their victims. Police officials say that most chain-snatching cases are committed by those armed with country-made pistols and are on bikes.
However, the rate of solving the crime in chain snatching cases is also one of the lowest.
According to the police, most chain-snatching offenders operate alone or in two-member groups and usually use stolen bikes. All deserted roads adjoining villages are especially sensitive. One needs to be vigilant especially in early morning hours and, between 5pm-8pm. Absence of street lights too help such menace-makers. The gangs of chain snatchers make women easy targets. As the attack is sudden, victims are generally unable to identify the culprits or the registration number of the vehicle used in the crime.
Cops say that many professional chain snatchers use special tools and customized motorcycles. Even educated youngsters, lured by easy money, have been found committing such crimes. Around 6000-7000 Snatching cases are reported every year in Delhi alone. But, the truth is that mostly such cases are either not reported or are ignored by the Police. Police is mostly non-responsive towards filing an FIR for such cases. On the contrary, Police seem to suggest and advice women to stop wearing chains and other valuable Jewellery for their own safety, and also to stay indoors in the evenings and early morning time.
In my view, the curbs and restrictions should be imposed upon the culprits and hooligans, and certainly not upon the innocents and the victims!!