Sonali Adhikari (in blue) who got her handbag back at Sakchi police station on Monday. (Bhola Prasad)
Blame the festive season for the sudden spurt in crime in steel city Jamshedpur over the last fortnight or so.
The overworked police force, who have been stretched to their limits — sometimes deployment of additional forces was required — attributed the rise in criminal activities to Chhath and the recent Muharram processions on which they were required to keep an eye.
So while the men in khaki kept an eye out on the streets and the ponds, the criminals made merry using the cover of the night.
A case in point here is that of Kashidih resident Rajendra Singh.
Singh had parked his car in front of his house in Sakchi area on Sunday night only to find the windscreen of his vehicle smashed on Monday morning. The only consolation transporter Singh might have had was the fact that the miscreants had, besides his car, targeted six other four-wheelers in the locality.
Some of the victims later made their way to Sakchi police station where they lodged a verbal complaint.
Earlier, on Saturday night a gang of youths had allegedly broken into the Olidih residence of one Suraj Kumar and cleaned out cash and gold jewellery estimated to be worth more than Rs 2 lakh. According to a complaint lodged, the gang had apparently sprayed some chemical in the room to ensure that the occupants of the house remained asleep while they cleaned out the almirah.
It was only after waking up on Monday morning that Kumar raised an alarm after seeing the almirah open and goods strewn around the room.
In a separate incident on Saturday night, Syed Rizwan-ul-Haque’s car was stolen from in front of his Bistupur’s Inner Circle-based residence. Haque, after a futile search, lodged a FIR with Bistupur police late on Saturday.
The incidents of snatchings have also been rampant, with one Sonali Adhikari becoming the latest victim on Monday. Sources said a teenager had snatched and made away with Adhikari’s handbag at the busy Sakchi marketplace on Monday morning.
When the victim raised an alarm a group of onlookers gave chase and nabbed the 13-year-old. The boy was later handed over to the police and the bag recovered from his possession.
Contacted, SSP Akhilesh Kumar Jha admitted that the crime graph of the city had gone north in the past few days.
“Most of the policemen in the city had been roped in for special duty during Chhath and Muharram festivals. Hence, they could not pay proper attention to maintaining the law and order. However, with all the festivals over now we will intensify patrolling to crack down on the criminals,” Jha told The Telegraph.
He added that they suspected the hand of a gang behind the smashing up of car windows.
“We had encountered a similar case in Sitaramdera’s baradwari locality last year. The gang had been launched after police launched a manhunt against them,” he said