Incidences of Snatching, Robbery on the Rise in Guwahati

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Incidences of Snatching, Robbery on the Rise in Guwahati

Nehal Jain | November 23, 2019 15:32 hrs

GUWAHATI: There has been a drastic rise in the number of bag snatching cases in Guwahati and the police are having a tough time tracking down the culprits and recovering the stolen property.

Some new gangs have become operative in Guwahati and robbery is what these gangs are resorting to. These bike-borne criminals not only snatch gold chains but also take away purses and bags containing cash and valuables. The police at this hour seem helpless to curb such incidents.

In a recent incident, two unidentified miscreants allegedly looted a bag containing cash amounting to Rs 2 lakhs from a woman in broad daylight. The woman, identified as Bihula Brahma of Narengi area was looted on November 19, Tuesday.

According to Bihula Brahma, she had visited the Mathgharia branch of the State Bank of India to withdraw cash amounting to Rs 2 lakhs. But as she came out of the bank, two motorcycle-borne miscreants snatched the bag filled with cash from her and fled away.

A complaint has been registered against the unknown men, but so far, nobody has been detained, police informed media.

A majority of such incidents have taken place during afternoons and late evening hours when the streets are less populated and so it is difficult to identify these miscreants.

Earlier, in another incident of snatching, two motorcycle-borne miscreants snatched Rs 1 lakh from an elderly couple in Guwahati’s Bamunimaidan area on Wednesday, November 13. 

The incident took place after the couple came out of the New Guwahati branch of the State Bank of India after withdrawing the amount. They then after registered a case as well.

“Almost every day we hear about a similar robbery or chain snatching case. It is no longer safe to walk on the roads alone, especially if you’re carrying cash or any other valuables,” said a resident of Athgaon speaking to G Plus.

In the same vein, Navin Sarma, a resident of the city said, “Robbers and chain-snatchers seem to be having a field day in Guwahati with the roads turning into deserted alleys during night hours. Lack of streetlights and police patrolling are to be blamed for the massive increase in numbers.”

Similar instances have also been reported in other parts of the city including Athgaon, Rehabari, Uzan Bazar and Maligaon. 


Less cops, more crimes

There is a dearth of police personnel in the state, especially in the capital city of Guwahati, a senior police official informed G Plus. 

In a statement issued by the state government in March 2019, a total of 11,046 posts in the Assam police remained vacant as on February 7. Among them, 4,139 vacant posts are in the unarmed branch stream and 6,907 posts in the armed branch stream.

Similarly, police sources have blamed lack of manpower and updated technologies such as high quality CCTV cameras for the increased cases of robbery.

“With such less manpower, it’s not possible to deploy men for 24 hours outside all banks. Miscreants have been taking advantage and picking soft targets such as aged men and women,” the source added.

He added that the state government must provide manpower to help police work better.
It should be noted here that over 50% cases remain unsolved in Guwahati owing to this lack of manpower. 


Robbery cases in Guwahati increase by 75 percent in two years

Robbery attacks in the city have shot up by 75% in the last two years, indicate the latest statistics provided by the crime branch of Guwahati Police Commissionerate. Robbery cases have increased from 288 in 2016 to 406 in 2018 (data showcases the number of crimes reported from January 1 to November 30). This shows an increase of 218 robbery cases as against 2016. In 2017, a total of 335 cases of robbery were registered with the city police.

The data indicates that at least one case of robbery was recorded daily in 2018. However, police had been able to crack merely 205 cases of robbery until October 2018, some of which were registered in the previous years.

Guwahati, in 2018, witnessed an overall increase in the number of cases registered pertaining to other crimes as well. The city police registered a total of 16,892 cases between January 1 and November 30 in the past year, an increase of close to 1,000 reported crimes compared to the previous year.

The crimes registered in 2018 largely included theft, burglary and robbery, followed by crimes against women. 

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