Cops urge peak-hour com­muters to be alert

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI - Pad­mja Sinha pad­mja.sinha@hin­dus­tan­times.com Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

As rain takes a break, a group of boys plays a game of foot­ball at a Nerul ground on Thurs­day.

The Dom­bivli po­lice have launched an ini­tia­tive to sen­si­tise com­muters about ram­pant in­ci­dents of chain-snatch­ing, mo­lesta­tion and pick-pock­et­ing.

They aim to curb crimes on trains dur­ing rush hours, which have been ris­ing.

To pre­pare com­muters, es­pe­cially women, against mis­cre­ants on trains, city’s joint com­mis­sioner Ashutosh Dum­bre and com­mis­sioner of po­lice Param­bir Singh have in­structed the po­lice peace com­mit­tee to sen­si­tise com­muters.

The ini­tia­tive in its sec­ond week will in­ten­sify in the com­ing weeks, an of­fi­cial said.

The per­son­nel pa­trol sta­tions from 6am to 10am and evening 7pm to 11pm.

The po­lice mi­tras or friends will also help the peace com­mit­tee. “Rush hours lead to more crimes as it be­comes easy for mis­cre­ants to es­cape. We keep close watch on all and en­sure safety and se­cu­rity,” a vol­un­teer said.

“Com­plaints of chain-snatch­ing, pick-pock­et­ing and oth­ers were pour­ing in big num­bers. Hence, to curb these we appeal com­muters dur­ing peak hours to take care of their be­long­ings and women are en­cour­aged to stand up against eve-teas­ing or mo­lesta­tion,” said Supriya Kulka­rni, a mem­ber of the peace team.

“The pa­trolling and pub­lic ad­dress sys­tem start at both morn­ing and evening peak hours dur­ing which com­muters are asked to be care­ful about their be­long­ing and hawk­ers are also dis­cour­aged to ped­dle their ma­te­ri­als around the sta­tion area. Au­torick­shaw driv­ers are not per­mit­ted in­side the premises,” said an­other vol­un­teer.

Kulka­rni said that ev­ery day more than one pick-pock­et­ing in­ci­dent is re­ported.

The ini­tia­tive, which started a week ago, has re­ceived over­whelm­ing re­sponse from com­muters who hailed the drive as peo­ple-friendly.

“Eve-teasers take ad­van­tage dur­ing peak hours and touch in­ap­pro­pri­ately. Po­lice pa­trolling will dis­cour­age such peo­ple,” said Pallavi Raj, a daily com­muter.

The po­lice have ar­rested a 51-year-old man from Pune who al­legedly cheated one travel agency owner of US $2,200 promis­ing Rs 1.50 lakh in re­turn.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the ac­cused Naren alias Sa­gar Sharma vis­ited the travel agency at Sec­tor 17 in Vashi on July 2 and said he was stay­ing in a nearby five-star ho­tel.

He also said that he needed US $2,200 for some ur­gent work.

“When the travel agency agreed for the trans­ac­tion, he said he had the cash in his ho­tel room and that some­one would have go with him to take it,” said Su­raj Padvi, po­lice in­spec­tor from Vashi po­lice sta­tion.

The owner of the agency and his son then ac­com­pa­nied him to the ho­tel, which was just a few yards away from their of­fice. On reach­ing the ho­tel, the son waited on the ground floor and his fa­ther went up to the sec­ond floor with the ac­cused.

“The ac­cused told the fa­ther to wait out­side his room and then se­cretly came down to meet his son. He told the son that he had given the cash to his fa­ther along with re­quired doc­u­ments. He then took the for­eign cur­rency from the son and fled,” Padvi said.

It was only af­ter the fa­ther­son met, they re­alised they had been cheated. They ap­proached the po­lice and reg­is­tered a com­plaint.

Act­ing on a tip-off, the antiex­tor­tion cell ar­rested the ac­cused on Tues­day.

“The ac­cused could be a mem­ber of a big gang. We are try­ing to find out if he has cheated other peo­ple from the city us­ing the same modus operandi. We are also try­ing to un­der­stand what he was plan­ning to do with the for­eign cur­rency. Our in­ves­ti­ga­tions are on,” an­other se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer from Vashi po­lice sta­tion said.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

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