By Zafar Abbas
Less traffic on the roads and maximum police presence on the streets due to the pandemic surprisingly failed to curtail the snatching cases in the capital this year, data showed. At least 4257 people fell prey to snatching on Delhi roads till August 15 this year. This is 247 cases more than the number of people who became victims during the same period last year.
The Delhi police data suggests that in 2019 at least 6266 people reported snatchings on Delhi streets while 6932 people became victims of the crime in 2018.
The fact that in some cases the snatching resulted in grievous injuries to the victim makes it one of the deadliest street crimes in the national capital.
Recently, a 50-year-old woman was dragged off a two-wheeler, and thrown on to a busy intersection even as vehicles went past her, by snatchers who violently tugged off her gold chain and drove away on their bike.
The woman identified as Pramila Singh, a health worker who works in a hospital, was left with a fracture in one arm, injuries to her head and knees, and may also lose the use of her left ear because of the accident. Her husband was driving the motorcycle on which she was riding pillion at the time of the incident near Kashmere Gate on Friday night.
Another woman in South East Delhi’s New Friends Colony fell prey to snatchers on Tuesday morning when two bikers snatched her phone when she was out for a morning walk in a park.
“When this incident happened, two Delhi Police personnel were present, but they did not help us,” said Akram Raza, the husband of the victim.
In May this year, snatchers targeted a female journalist as she was standing outside the RML hospital in New Delhi filming a story on her mobile which was attached to a selfie stick.
The incidents of snatching indicate that despite the lockdown the snatchers were on the prowl and it seems the vacant roads in Delhi helped them to escape easily.
“Many criminals involved in the cases of snatching and robbery are those who have a previous record. Many who have been involved in multiple cases of snatching and robbery have been out on parole from the jails due to the ongoing pandemic. This might have increased the cases of snatching and robbery in the capital,” said a senior police officer.