Vishnu Singh at his cement shop on DB Road in Bagbera on Tuesday. (Animesh Sengupta)
Burglars virtually had a free run in Bagbera on the outskirts of Jamshedpur in the small hours of Tuesday.
A shop was burgled and abortive attempts made on three others on DB Road. A theft was reported from a house in Bagbera Colony, while the wheels and batteries of two stationary auto-rickshaws at Gandhinagar went missing. All the incidents occurred between midnight and 3am.
None of the shopowners of DB Road, however, approached Bagbera thana to lodge a complaint, forcing police to take suo moto action and start investigations on their own.
Bagbera Mahanagar Vikas Samiti president Subodh Jha explained the reason behind the traders’ reluctance to lodge an FIR.
According to him, the business community of Bagbera was peeved with the police for their failure to curb rising cases of robbery, burglaries and snatchings in the area. He added that in the past 20 days, 65 such incidents had taken place.
“Traders of Bagbera are fed up with the increasing criminal activities. A sense of despondency has creeped in. The common feeling is that once a complaint is registered, the police will not catch the culprits, rather summon the victims regularly to the thana, ask odd questions and harass them,” Jha said.
Vishnu Singh, owner of the cement shop, Baroda Sales Agency, that the burglars managed to break in, echoed Jha.
“When I reached here in morning, the shutter locks were broken. On entering the shop, I found that the cash box had been prised open too. Rs 2,500 kept inside was missing. But I don’t want to lodge any complaint. I have no faith in the police,” Singh said.
The shutter of nearby Anil Studio was found tampered with. Owner Anil Kumar said the thieves had managed to smash the outside locks, but failed to open the in-built ones.
“They tried to lift the shutter by force, but later gave up. Had they managed to break in, I would have incurred a loss of over Rs 5 lakh as expensive cameras were kept inside,” Kumar added.
Similarly, the burglars managed to shatter the locks of a garment shop, but did not find the booty of readymade clothes interesting and left it there.
Bagbera OC Shailendra Kumar admitted that there had been a spurt in theft and burglary, but criticised the traders for not approaching police. He cited the example of Parmeshwar Sharma of Road No. 4 in Bagbera Colony whose house was burgled too. Some grocery items had been stolen.
Sharma, unlike the traders, lodged a complaint.
He, however, added they would intensify night patrolling from Tuesday.
A senior police officer, unwilling to be named, said that it was easier said than done.
“Bagbera is a vast area and the police are facing staff crunch. There are limited number of constables and havaldars who do the patrolling, which is obviously not effective,” said the officer.
In yet another case, the thieves decamped with wheels and batteries of two auto-rickshaws at Gandhinagar. The entire booty was worth over Rs 1 lakh.