800% spike in robberies on city's rly network since 2016
One commuter in injured daily on the city's suburban train network in theft attempts, figures from the Government Railway Police (GRP) show.
The GRP has found that the city witnessed an 800 per cent spike in the registration of robbery cases - a total of 496 cases were registered in 2017, as against 62 cases registered in 2016.
According to the Indian Penal Code, an offence is registeredunder Section 390 as robbery only when the victims is hurt or threatened during the process of committing the theft. Senior officials from GRP explained that the spike in robbery figures is the result of proper registration of complaints.
The most common offence on the suburban network in Mumbai is mobile-snatching, in which the passengers is often hurt as the accused tried to run away with the phone. The other way of attempting cell phone thefts is by hitting the passenger with a stick, known as phatka.
This was the most lethal form of theft as passengers were severely in jured as they fell off the trains after being hit. A final year student of BCom, Dravita Singh, was the most recent victim of phatka after she was hit while standing on the footboard of a local. Dravita lost a foot and a finger as she fell off the moving train.
Most cases of cellphone-snatching were not be recorded earlier, and only a missing re-
port used to be registered earlier in such cases instead.
However, from the beginning of 2017, the practice of simply registering a missing complaint was stopped, and ineach case, an FIR was registered. A senior official explaining this said, "Most of these cellphone thefts were committed in running trains, where the passenger's life was in danger, and hence relevant sections of robbery are now invoked."
The total stolen property in these 496 cases was estimated to be about 85 lakh. The GRP managed to recover property worth Rs 66 lakh by detecting 45 7 cases.
"With the increased number of registrations, the cases being detected by the GRP has also gone up, and the detection rate in 92 per cent," said Jaijeet Singh, additional director general of GRP.
In 2016, only 62 robbery cases were registered, of which 50 were detected and property worth 7 lakh was recovered.
Explaining the increase in detection rates along with registration, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Samadhan Pawar, said, "Special teams have been formed to detect these cases of robbery, which are deployed in sensitive locations . We have also started using GPS technology to monitor our staff, which has helped to coordinate and nab several accused red-hand-ed."