GUWAHATI, Feb 28: Following the long lockdown, frequent incidents of petty crimes like snatching of chains and moneybags over the past few months have become a new normal for the city dwellers.
According to sources, such crimes have mainly been taking place in different by-lanes of the city, especially where streetlight facility is not adequate. Most of these crimes take place in the evening and in the afternoon hours when the presence of traffic and pedestrians is comparatively low on the streets.
One such incident took place on Saturday afternoon at South-Sarania bye-lane 1. According to locals, bike-borne miscreants snatched the purse of a woman when she was paying the driver of the cab she had just alighted from. Locals alleged that in the past few days, such incidents have been frequently taking place in the area.
Although the increasing rate of such incidents has become a cause of serious concern for the locals, no effective step has been taken by the local police. On being contacted, the officer-in-charge of Chandmari Police Station Sanjib Kumar Das sought to refute the rising incidence of petty crimes in the area. He added that till this evening, the Chandmari Police Station had not received any complaint in connection with the snatching incident that allegedly took place on Saturday.
However, the officer-in-charge of Hatigaon Police Station Biren Deka informed that after the lockdown, the rate of petty crimes like thefts has increased substantially in his area.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Deka said, “It is a fact that in the post-lockdown period we have seen a higher rate of petty crimes in our area. Especially, the rate of thefts in households has increased a lot. Similarly, incidents of snatching have also been showing an increasing trend.”
Sources said theft, snatching and pick pocketing have also increased in the neighbouring areas of Hatigaon like Dispur and Beltola.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (Dispur) Himangshu Das also agreed with the fact. But the officer-in-charge of Dispur Police Station Prafulla Das said that the recent arrest of some petty criminals has resulted in a downward trend of the crime graph.
People of Panbazar and its peripheral areas are also experiencing the same. According to police, they are now registering at least two incidents of snatching in a week. At the same time, investigation is on to trace the criminals.
Reacting to the issue, Commissioner of Guwahati Police Munna Prasad Gupta said, “There was a strict restriction on public movement during the lockdown. So the rate of crime was also very low during those days. Now with relaxation in lockdown, public movement has also become normal and as a result, the rate of crime has also increased.”