Monday, October 21, 2013

Robbery casts doubt on bid to keep Marine Drive crime-free

Mateen Hafeez TNN

    The latest offence on Marine Drive has put a question mark on the police claim that they have taken many steps to curb crime on the famous boulevard. 

    The busy Queen’s Necklace, which is used daily by hundreds of VIPs, has recently been the scene of at least two serious crimes. In August, additional civic commissioner Mohan Adtani’s cellphone was stolen while he was on a walk. In September, a woman was attacked by robbers when she resisted their attempt to steal her mobile. 

    After each case, the police claimed they had good leads in the form of CCTV footage; they said they were interrogating chain-snatchers and history sheeters. Yet, both cases remain undetected.
    Following the two offences, senior officers formed teams—comprising policemen from stations at Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, D B Marg and others—to prevent further crimes on the Queen’s Necklace. “We increased patrolling on Marine Drive. Also, we deployed armed policemen at several spots along the boulevard and asked them to keep an eye out for suspicious people,” said a senior officer. 

    But, going by the Saturday evening crime, the police measures have clearly not been enough of a deterrent. “If even Marine Drive is not safe, which part of the city is?” asked a stockbroker.  Last year, two men were robbed of Rs 45 lakh on Marine Drive while they were on their way to deposit the cash in a bank.
    Joint commissioner of police (law and order) Sadanand Date said on Sunday: “Will you please talk to DCP zone 1? I have forwarded your message to him. He can give details of our efforts to detect such crimes.”
    Zonal DCP Ravindra Shisve said, “I am shocked. There have been three crimes in the recent past and the modus operandi in each was different. Our surveillance staff was not on Marine Drive on Saturday because it was sent to Taloja jail. We are trying to crack the case.”
PAST CRIMES Sept 13 2013
Meherjan Lamberaj, a manager with a private firm, was slashed
with a razor on Marine Drive
when she fought back robbers trying to snatch her cellphone  
Aug 31 2013
Additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani
was robbed of his mobile while
he was on an evening walk on Marine Drive  
Oct 23 2012
Two men travelling in a taxi to a bank in Marine Lines with Rs 45 lakh cash and a few cheques
were stopped by four bike-borne men on Marine Drive and robbed 
 TIMES VIEW: Marine Drive, the city’s landmark tourist attraction with its the sweeping Queen’s Necklace, is no longer a safe place for its citizens. It speaks volumes about how unsafe Mumbai has become. This is the third serious crime incident here in the last two months. Instead of mouthing the usual platitudes after every such incident, the police need to get their act together in order to assure citizens’ safety.

1 Jeweller Jayesh Zaveri’s car was going down Marine Drive around 8pm on Saturday when a silver Swift overtook it and halted in front

2 Four men armed with choppers got down and smashed the windows of his car. One of them snatched a bag with `3.6L and a mobile

3 The robbers ran back into their Swift and zipped away. A biker who witnessed the crime gave them chase, but they dodged him at a signal 
The Times of India, October 21, 2013

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