Mumbai: A 30-year-old woman, based in Andheri, who works as an entertainment journalist for a TV channel experienced an incident of mobile snatching. The incident happened on the night of June 17, but her tweet on the matter shed light on more such incidents experienced by other people at the same spot. What is even more shocking is that the woman was told by the cops while filing a complaint that the spot at the Western Express Highway (WEH) where the snatching took place, does not have CCTV cameras for the past two years.
Mobile snatched by pillion rider
Explaining the incident to the Free Press Journal, the victim, Pooja Nawathe who was going back home from Hill Road, Bandra towards Andheri via WEH, said, it was around 11 at night when she reached the Bahar junction area at Sahar Road. She was inside an autorickshaw with her two sisters, and the vehicle was waiting at the red signal. As the signal turned green, two people on a motorcycle came in front of her vehicle. “The mobile phone was snatched by the one riding pillion and then they fled. It has scarred me from within for a lifetime. I was lucky that they did not harm me physically,” said Pooja, who then went to nearby police stations but they directed her to Vile Parle station for registering a first information report (FIR).
She alleged that at first the cops at Vile Parle tried to manipulate her to not register a complaint but after her insistence, they did. However, what shocked her even more, is that when she was told that “such crimes” never get “solved” or the culprits are “never nabbed” as they don’t have CCTV cameras that can help them with solving the case or nabbing the accused.
“I was told that the CCTV cameras installed are not functional for two years. The cops took me to the crime spot and adjoining places but they confessed that no CCTVs were functional due to unknown reasons,” she added. While the cops have assured her to look into the case, the truth is there is no way forward.
“When I tweeted this matter, I learned that several people had faced similar incidents at the same spot. One user said that his brother lost his life in an accident at the same spot but never received justice because the CCTV cameras were not functional,” Pooja added.
Police show lack of interest
Meanwhile, while talking to FPJ, officials at Vile Parle police said that “not all CCTV cameras are dysfunctional, it’s just some of them,” Sanjay Narvekar, the senior police inspector, said, “Not all the CCTVs are non-functional. Due to ongoing Metro work at several spots on WEH, some of them are dysfunctional. We will soon write to the corporation (BMC) about the CCTVs that need maintenance in order to resolve the matter.”
However, not all CCTV cameras are managed by the BMC, some are privately managed too, or by other authorities including the police.
“It’s shocking to learn that a Metro city like Mumbai is in such a state. Thankfully, the snatchers didn’t have any weapons or they tried to attack me. Andheri is a prime hub of huge organisations, and such negligence is unacceptable. We as taxpayers are accountable for answers! I request the CMO Maharashtra to look into this and attend to this on priority,” concluded Pooja.