Eleven pickpockets and a chain snatcher were arrested after wallets, mobiles and a gold chain were snatched off from mourners in the funeral procession of late Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday, police said. A total of 32 thefts have been registered and 12 accused nabbed with many fleeing the scene.
On Tuesday, Inspector-in-charge of the Panaji police station Sudesh Naik confirmed the men were from Karnataka and Maharashtra and known pickpockets from their region, who had rushed to Goa on the day of the funeral.
“They had specifically come to Panaji because of the major event in order to commit theft,” Naik told reporters here. The police are still looking at the number of people who attended the funeral, which had three pit stops, at the BJP headquarters, Kala Academy, and Miramar beach.
Most of those who have reported crime were standing in the queue for offering their condolences to their leader.
In one instance, the accused was stopped by the crowd and the police arrested him at Kala Academy when he tried to run away with a gold chain of a lady in the queue. The incident is believed to have happened just around the time the police started to sanitise the perimeter for the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries.