Petty offences have become order of the day (evening and night too!) on Harmu bypass road — an arterial link used by VVIPs like governor’s advisers and IAS and IPS officers to reach their offices in Dhurwa — with a septuagenarian woman becoming the latest victim.
Two armed men on a motorcycle snatched a gold chain from Asha Giri (60), a resident of Harmu housing colony, and even fired in the air when she raised an alarm.
The incident took place near a Shani temple late on Monday evening while Giri was waiting beside the road for an auto-rickshaw to take her home after offering prayers.
“Two motorcycle-borne men came from behind and the pillion-rider snatched the chain from the elderly woman. When she raised an alarm, passers-by rushed to her aid. But before people could intercept the motorbike, the pillion rider fired one round and escaped. However, the firearm slipped from the pillion-rider’s hand in the rush. Later, police recovered it,” said a local resident.
Officer in-charge of Kotwali police station S.B. Sharma confirmed the incident. “An FIR has been registered on the basis of the woman’s statement. Efforts are on to nab the criminals.”
This is not the first time that miscreants targeted commuters on that stretch. A local resident pointed out, “Such incidents take place four to five times a month, but on most occasions, victims don’t go to police as they are wary of the legal hassles.”
A police officer agreed.
“As there are four wine shops, located within short distances of each other, on the road, the area remains busy all the time. Hence, it becomes difficult to ascertain whether professional snatchers are involved or youths are targeting just anyone to make some quick money that they can spend on liquor. Though patrolling take place regularly, sometimes such incidents cannot be averted,” he said.
S. Lal, a resident of Chaibasa who was in Ranchi to attend a marriage function, said he would have fallen prey to snatchers on Harmu bypass on January 20 if a patrol team had not come to his rescue.
“I was going to attend a wedding with my wife when a motorbike with two men on it hit my car from behind near Gari Khana Chowk. When I stopped to see what had happened, the men tried to snatch money from me, saying that I had damaged their vehicle. However, soon a police team came and took them in custody. I was really scared,” he said.