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Snatching spurs thana gherao

Around 150 workers of a construction firm gheraoed Sonari police station for over three hours on Thursday in protest against frequent snatchings and assaults by slum dwellers near their project site in the locality.

The gherao, which started at 10am and continued till 1.30pm, was triggered by a fresh instance of snatching in the morning. A gang of 10 from Tilu Bhatta bustee in Sonari robbed a worker, Mohammed Arif, of Rs 2,000 around 8am, when he was on his way to the construction site.

Arif was badly beaten up when he tried in vain to resist the robbery.

Seething with anger, his colleagues raised their voice against police inaction.

The workers alleged that in the last 15 days, snatchers had targeted them 14 times in the area but the police were remaining mute spectators.

“Today also, when we demanded the arrest of the culprits, who had assaulted Arif, the police told us to come up with the names. They know very well that we are migrant labourers. How do they expect us to identify the criminals?” a worker Bijay Kumar said.

Sonari OC Sanjiv Kumar confirmed that a group of slum dwellers had allegedly assaulted and snatched the purse of a worker belonging to the construction firm, but denied the allegations of inaction.

“We sent a RAF van to the scene of crime immediately after receiving the complaint. But a search in the nearby areas yielded nothing. There is no eyewitness either,” the OC said.

Realising that the police were not going to take any step, the workers helplessly lifted the gherao but did not return to work for the day.

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