Cops urge peak-hour commuters to be alert
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.