Chandigarh has witnessed a spike in crimes since curfew was lifted, recording at least 352 cases including 294 registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 58 under the Acts including the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), Arms Act, Excise Act etc.
These cases are including a brazen firing at the house of the brother of liquor baron Arvind Singla in Sector 33, firing at a liquor vend in Sector 9, theft of Rs 7.60 lakh from the ATM of Union Bank of India, nine burglaries and two murder cases.
The curfew in Chandigarh was imposed on March 24. It lasted till May 3 midnight. As per police records, just 16 cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) involving thefts, snatching, assault etc were reported during the 40-day curfew period.
Sources said, “The city witnessed a sudden rise in cases of vehicle theft and burglaries. Thirty-two motor vehicles including two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers were stolen between May 4 and June 19.”
They further added, “Fifteen house thefts were also reported during the same period along with nine burglaries when people broke into houses and decamped with the valuables. In the category of heinous crime included murders, attempted murders, police managed to arrest and identify most of the suspects.”
Chandigarh police spokesperson, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Charanjeet Singh said, “There are certain reasons behind the spike in crime. We are interrogating suspects to ascertain motives. During Covid-19 duties when the lockdown was imposed in Chandigarh, police were deputed to ensure social distancing. Since the curfew was lifted, police officers have resumed their task of prevention and detection of crimes. Shortly, all these reported cases will be solved. The city has indeed witnessed a spike in cases.”
Sources said that because late night discos, clubs, hotels were closed for a long time, criminals have shifted their focus towards people involved in the liquor business.
Earlier, extortion, threatening calls were made to owners of late night clubs.
Records show police have made 21 seizures of narcotics including charas, heroin along with 24 cases of illicit liquor seizures post-lockdown till June 19.