Taking a tough stance against chain-snatching incidents in the city,Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh on Monday said the culprits could be booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act (MPDA).
Chain-snatching cases have been on the rise in the city. The Mumbai Police has registered 1,208 such cases between January and August this year,as against 916 registered during the same period in 2011,showing a 25% increase.
I am sensitive to the plight of women who fall victim to chain-snatchings. Today,I have given specific directions on how to tackle chain-snatchings, Singh said.
The move is aimed at keeping chain-snatchers,who would otherwise secure bail and indulge in such crimes repeatedly,behind bars for a longer period. Once MCOCA is applied in a case,it becomes almost impossible for an accused to get bail. I have told officers that they should consider how they will feel if their wives or daughters were targeted by chain-snatchers. Strongest action will be taken against offenders, said Singh.
The police chiefs strong words notwithstanding,it will be difficult to book chain-snatchers under MCOCA. For the Act to be applied,at least one of the accused should have two prior offences in which chargesheets have been filed in the past 10 years. While chain-snatchings were earlier registered as thefts,there is also a move to register them as robberies for harsher punishment.