Pickpockets The never-ending scenario in delhi metro

With metro stations bustling with huge crowds, Delhi metro has seen a huge swing in pickpockets’ businesses as flourishing.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), tasked with providing armed security to metro corporations, undertook over 100 operations to address complaints of thefts in metro trains this year which carried an estimated 26 lakh commuters every day.

Such crimes are done on a regular basis. In fact, this has helped many people in earning their everyday bread and livelihood. Recently, the CISF had busted a gang of 6 women on December 26 who used to check into the metro premises regularly to loot people’s pockets. Shobha Das, living in Paschim Vihar, who used to pickpocket on an everyday basis in the blue line Metro towards Dwarka, told a CISF personnel, "We used to grab more than Rs. 1000 per day from more than 10 different pockets. This was the means of our daily bread and necessities. CISF found that the gang had robbed all the jewels and valuables of a US based Indian lady while she was travelling in the Delhi Metro with her husband.

Gang of 6 women caught by CISF on December 26 at the Chawri Bazar Metro Station. The CISF recovered jewellery worth Rs. 22 Lakh from them.

"It has been found that the modus operandi of these women is to either carry a child or travel in a group to con and pick a purse or other valuables of a traveller, be it a man or a woman," a senior official said.

The most part of it was done by women on both ladies and general compartments of the Delhi metro. In 2014, over 300 women were intercepted for these crimes making them about 94 per cent of those held, while in 2013, of the total 466 pickpockets held across various stations of the Delhi Metro, 421 were women. These women are being handed over to the Delhi Police by the CISF after apprehension, for some legal action being taken against them.

This scenario has kept constant and has overwhelmingly increased over the last few years in Delhi metro. As seen in 2016, out of 479 people caught picking pockets in the Delhi metro, 438 or 91 per cent are women, said the CISF.

Delhi metro is a medium of transportation for many Delhi citizens including people of all age groups mainly the office goers and college students. The trend of pickpockets has been ever increasing in the train making it an unsafe medium of commuting.

Pankhuri Saklani, a student at the Delhi University who found her pocket picked with a loss of Rs. 3000 and ATM card says, "Metro is very heavily crowded these days and as more and more people depend on metro to commute, pickpockets take advantage of it and loot the pockets easily without grabbing attention of people. It's much better to keep all the belongings in a bag and holding the bag tightly if the compartment is full of people rather than keeping in the pocket."

This year, between January and December 20, altogether 41 male and 438 female suspected pickpockets have been caught by the CISF. The force, in order to keep a check on such crimes, have taken a step to regularly undertake operations and deploy men and women personnel in plain clothes and without uniforms in order to nab the troublemaker red-handed.

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Chahak Mittal
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