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New Delhi:

To arrest the rising graph of street crimes, the Delhi Traffic Police have launched a special drive to check bikers at key points, including crime hot-spots. They would be accompanied by armed zonal officers to tackle gun-wielding criminals.

Since the past fortnight, bike-borne armed ‘snatcher gangs’ have unleashed terror, targeting women and pedestrians in most parts of the national capital. In many cases, the criminals, when resisted, opened fire killing the victim.

On Thursday, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal at a meeting with Commissioner of Police Amulya Patnaik, reportedly expressed displeasure over rising cases of armed robbery, loot and murder.

Subsequently on Friday, the Police Commissioner convened a meeting at the police headquarters and instructed all Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP) to pull their socks up.

According to sources, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier sounded out the Delhi L-G on the rise in street crimes.

On Friday, Special Commissioner of Police Taj Hassan instructed the Joint CPs to launch a special drive to monitor/check bikers for the next 15 days. “Each circle should deploy at least two teams with armed zonal officers (ZO) to monitor/investigate bikers — at least twice a day — at randomly chosen places,” said Hassan.

When asked how will the traffic police tackle an armed miscreants, Hassan said, “if they (miscreants) resorted to violence, we know how to respond. Each team will have an armed zonal officers.”

A report by the central intelligence agencies sent to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reveals that frequent encounters in UP have compelled gangsters to take refuge in Delhi.

In the past two years, around 60 criminals have been killed and over 900, including robbers, reportedly been grievously injured by the UP Police in the Meerut zone, which comprises nine areas, including crime-prone cities like Meerut, Noida, Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar. The hardened criminals have fled to Delhi.

According to a senior IPS officer in Delhi, Patnaik is an experienced officer in tackling crimes but doesn’t approve of ‘encounters’, a strategy adopted by the UP Police under the Yogi Adityanath government. Consequently, criminals from bordering districts of western UP are treating Delhi as a safe haven.

With each passing day criminals were turing audacious and daring.

On Friday, a snatcher gang smashed the rear window of car, driven by a lady judge, at a traffic signal near Okhla, grabbed a hand bag, containing cash, debit cards and important documents.

Earlier in the morning, three criminals snatched a handbag from a youth in Sagarpur. When the victim resisted, one of the criminals stabbed him to death.

On Wednesday, two helmet-wearing criminals shot dead a businessman on a busy street near Dwarka More.

On September 21, a 59-year-old woman was shot dead near Max Hospital, Patparganj, by bike-borne criminals to rob the woman of her parked car.

On September 19, a couple was chased and looted by gun-wielding criminals near the Connaught Place.

The list of gruesome crimes is endless.

Expressing concern over rising street crimes, former Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Raj Sharma said criminals would turn reckless if they felt the police were not in pro-active.

“The pattern of crime makes it obvious that criminals have no fear of the police, law and even courts. It happens when cops are either slack or shy of taking tough action against the law offenders,” said Sharma, hinting that the Delhi Police would have to be on offensive to arrest rising crime graph.

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