Snatching cases in Delhi on rise; police gives excuses

Snatching cases in Delhi on rise; police gives excuses

New Delhi: Police present before press two persons accoused of snatching in New Delhi on Oct 1, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Delhi is witnessing an increasing number of snatching incidents, which many a time even involve killings. However, one wonders why the Delhi Police is watching the situation helplessly and not shooting those indulging in such crimes. Ask this question to the police officials and they tell you, on condition of anonymity, that the main reasons for the cops not acting in that manner are the National Human Rights Commission, stringent laws and criminals misusing the loopholes in the laws. "The hands of police are tied by the law, not of the criminals," an official said. A retired Joint Commissioner of Police said the main reason why criminals have become so dangerous is their easy access to weapons. Whether Chinese or local guns, the criminals have access to all. Availability of fast motorcycles has added to the problem as police gypsies are not able to chase these. The Gypsies can run only on wide roads, necessitating the need for providing more fast-moving motorcycles to the police so that the cops can chase the criminals even inside narrow by lanes and nab them. There are also reports that police usually registers the cases of snatchings, carried out even at gunpoint, under provisions of theft, which is a non-heinous crime and carries very little punishment. It saves the policemen the inconvenience as a case registered for loot and snatching and involving use of arms like knife or gun will have to be probed properly. According to the police, among those found involved in snatching, 95 per cent were first-timers. Delhi Police recently prepared "street crime data", according to which the cases of snatching in the national capital have witnessed a big decrease during the recent times, which is not reflective of the real situation. Delhi Police spokesman ACP Anil Mittal said a new initiative has been launched by his force on directions of Lt Governor to keep the youth away from snatching or "such other small crimes". Named 'Yuva', the initiative entails provision of literacy and technical education to the youth to make them employable, so that they keep away from the world of crime. As per the Delhi Police, over the last two years, the incidents of loot and snatching in the national capital have witnessed a decrease of 29 per cent. As of September 15, 2017, a total of 6,466 cases of snatching were registered in Delhi, which decreased to 4,707 in 2018 and 4,566 this year, till September 15. These figures, which defy the real situation, indicate that the cases of snatchings are not registered under the appropriate provisions of law. The spokesman insisted that if policeman is caught not filing the cases under the appropriate provisions, actions is taken against him. The Delhi police figures also claim that use of arms in snatching has also reduced over the last three years. As per its data, 641 incidents of snatching involving use of arms were witnessed, which came down to 578 in 2018 and 559 this year, till September 15.

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