As many as 91 snatching incidents have been reported in Chandigarh between January 1 and June 10, 2017. The majority of victims in these cases happen to be women and 53 cases out of the total number of cases are yet to be solved. According to the modus operandi branch (MOB) of Chandigarh Police, about 59 cases out of 91 have been reported in the southern division of Chandigarh, which comprises around 30 sectors covered by six police stations. The remaining 32 incidents of snatching have been recorded in the area falling under the central and east divisions.
A month-wise break-up shows double-digit figures of snatchings every month: 17 in January, 15 in February, 14 in March, 14 in April, 19 in May and 12 in June. This increasing graph of snatchings is despite a dedicated anti-snatching cell formed by the Chandigarh Police to curb this crime in the city.
DSP (crime) Pawan Kumar, who supervises the anti-snatching wing, said, “There are so many gangs active in Chandigarh. They are involved in various snatching incidents. There are some freshers as well who were not involved in any kind of crime earlier. Some of the snatchers who have no criminal background snatched the cell phones only to gift them to their female acquaintances. We have brought some of the suspects involved in snatching cases in Chandigarh on production warrants from Mohali, Hoshiarpur and other neighbouring districts.”
Sources in the crime branch said in some of the snatching cases, habitual offenders, who have been either convicted and acquitted earlier, have been found involved. On Saturday night, two motorcycle-borne youths fled after snatching the gold chain of 21-year-old Shivani Devi near Raipur Khurd. The woman raised the alarm and some passersby tried to chase the motorcyclists but failed.
Police sources said the snatchers abandoned their motorcycle and disappeared in a nearby forest area. An FIR was lodged by the victim’s father at Mauli Jagran police station.
No decision on amendment
The UT Administration is yet to take any decision on the proposal to amend sections 379 and 356 of the IPC making the offence of snatching more punishable on the pattern of Punjab and Haryana. The proposal was prepared by Chandigarh Police and sent to the UT Administration, which further referred it to the law ministry.