Punjab Police’s claims of increased security, especially at checkpoints and sensitive locations, in the aftermath of the May 9 RPG attack on its Intelligence Wing headquarters seems to have failed to have the desired effect, with the street crime graph of Mohali continuing with its merry upward march.
According to details, at least 11 cases of snatchings have been recorded between May 10 and June 2 this year. Out of these 11 incidents, firearms were used in four cases, posing questions on the police’s fresh and elaborate preventive security arrangements.
A Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) was fired at the Punjab Police’s Intelligence headquarters in Mohali on May 9 evening, triggering a blast at the site. Though no one was injured in the attack, a wall of the building bore the maximum impact with shattered window panes strewn inside. Following the attack, the district police claimed to have increased security in Mohali, with even personnel from the paramilitary force being deployed in parts of the city to instill a sense of safety among the residents.
Snatchers of the district, however, have not been deterred. As per records, post the security increase, the first snatching incident was reported on May 12 in Mullanpur, when three armed youngsters had snatched a gold chain from a woman while she was out on her morning walk. Mullanpur police later registered a case under relevant sections of the IPC and Arms Act.
Another snatching was reported on May 18 in Phase 8, when two men had fled with the mobile phone of one Anil Kumar.
After this, other incidents of snatching were reported on May 21, May 24, May 26, May 29, May 31, as per the police.
On May 26, two men had snatched an SUV and Rs 2 lakh cash in Zirakpur at gunpoint; on May 25 three armed men had snatched Rs 40,000 cash in Sohana, with four men fleeing with 22 parcels of gold and diamond jewellery in phase 9 (Industrial Area) at gun point from the employees of a courier company the very same day elsewhere. The police later went on to recover the stolen ornaments, estimated to be worth Rs 76 lakh, and arrested four men in the case.
Former Punjab Health minister, Balbir Singh Sidhu, on Thursday termed the current law and order situation in the district as ‘complete failure’, while stating that the residents in Mohali were starting to feel unsafe.
“When people step out of theit homes at night nowadays, they are scared that someone will snatch their car or target them for their money. Is this how the government wants to run the state?” Sidhu questioned.
Another snatching in Mohali
Another FIR regarding a snatching incident was registered in Kharar (sadar) police station on June 1 when three men had snatched a car and two cell phones of a taxi driver near Jhanjeri village.
The complainant in the case, Deepak had stated to the police that he was operating a taxi and on the night of May 31, he was present in Sohana when three men had approached him and booked the taxi to go to Chunni village. Deepak further said that when he reached at Jhanjeri village, one of his passengers had asked him to stop the car while the other passenger had put a sharp edged weapon on his neck and asked him to leave the car and his mobile phones.