Noida: Crime On The Rise
NOIDA, hugging the periphery of the national capital, is catapulted into the limelight for its myriads avenues pertaining to its rapid development as educational institutions, MNCs BPOs, call centres and other business points have come up at an alarming pace. Business opportunities galore and employment in plenty attract lakhs of work-seekers who are making a beeline for the city. NOIDA city is holding fast to its way to substantial progress despite the very fact that its crime rate is also climbing up constantly. NOIDA is inhabited by most Delhiites as many who’s who have moved to this side of the capital. The influx of people adding to the upsurge of population is yet another factor for the city crime to go up. And criminals melt in the surge of this milling crowd and camouflage themselves to evade arrest and remain into hiding till the clouds scud across the sky, albeit the UP Police have been wrestling hard with inadequate man power to curb crime. Thin visibility of police on the road makes the city more vulnerable.
On the other hand, the barbaric Nithari, sensational and mysterious Arushi-Hemraj double murder, kidnapping of Anant and Bhatta Parsaul are the cases that not only hogged the limelight and hit the headlines across the country but also left the city of NOIDA shell-shocked in the recent past. Land sharks particularly in Greater NOIDA are in cahoots with the police and are going great guns, as cases of land grabbing have become a routine affair of the city. The worst part of the state police can well be seen is frequent transfers of the top police officials even before they could settle in and read the topography and fathom the nature of crime. The constant and unfailing interference and serious influence of the government in power is held accountable for the lackadaisical attitude of the police and the chinks in the police machinery.
“COMMUNITY-BASED POLICING IS THE CALL OF THE DAY”—Jyoti Narayan, SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar
How do you read the crime in city?
Let me settle in and read the pulse of the city. It’s too early to say anything but then I agree that NOIDA crimes are recorded high.
What kind of crimes are in NOIDA?
Motor vehicle thefts, chain snatching and petty crimes have gone up.
And how about serious crimes recorded in the recent past that nudged everyone’s attention?
I agree but then it takes time to go through. It’s no way a twenty-20.
How can you contain it?
Community-based policing is the call of the day. However, it needs adequate man power, proper infrastructure and modern equipment.
What difficulty do the police have to wrestle when it comes to policing the city?
As I told you, the force has been running short of man power, it needs more fresh recruitments.
Besides, political pressure?
Not too often.
You even feel pressurised making a comment. is that so?
Which part of the city is the most sensitive and why?
Greater NOIDA and its adjoining villages.
Is the main city safe, do you mean that?
I did not say that.
Residents in NOIDA particularly girls feel insecure going out after dark. what steps are you going to take to check it?
We have stepped up security and deployed more police personnel near schools, colleges, metro stations and public parks. This will check the crime rate.
Do you think that UP Police need reforms, if so what they are?
Absolutely. They need more briefing sessions. Timely check on the police stations so that they do not develop a nexus with local land mafia and all.
Circles in the district remain influenced by the local netas. they influence COs, SHOs, SOs and the ones on the beat. how do you look at it?
I have initiated a drive that keeps tabs on each thana and whosever is found guilty of malpractices, I will take a severe action against the erring cop.
What I have seen is that an SI or an SHO may be more politically connected than you and the like. is it why they flout the norms when it comes to lodging an FIR despite the fact you top officials keep on instructing them to give a sufferer a patient hearing but they do what they like? how do tackle it?
I’ll take this on a more serious note. I cannot tolerate any foul play on part of my policemen. I have started visiting the area myself. I do instruct them to lodge an FIR come what may. If they show reluctance and act indifferently, I’ll see through it and punish whosever. At the most, yet another transfer! Corrupt and negligent police personnel will not be tolerated. Strict action will be taken against those who are found not carrying out their duties seriously.
One property disputed or genuine changes many hands one after another with proper paper work. is there any organised syndicate working hand in glove with the Noida authority and the police and selling one property many a time?
Now power of attorney is not the document that transfers the ownership from one person to another. No document or deed other than registry authenticates the sale or purchase of the property. Besides, we keep an eye on such cases.
And by the time you get to the bottom of the grim issue, the people with political clout and also involved in such scandals will play dirty and send you out of the city. is it right?
Yes, this is what has been happening with me.
NOIDA has witnessed an unprecedented real estate boom that introduced new players to the turf who either joined the old timers or started on their own. Following all this NOIDA’s crime graph has always shown an upward trend.
Motor vehicle theft has been on the rise considerably as police records reveal 300 cases of looting and car thefts in the last seven months. Mall freaks hanging out in NOIDA’s glitzy malls and multiplexes have been targeted. The gruesome gang-rape of a 22-year-old MBA student in the city shook the city as a whole when abducted and raped on a deserted stretch in NOIDA and within 24 hours an 18-year-old girl was abducted from sector 58 and allegedly raped by three men. Yet another case came to light when a girl was returning home with a friend from the famed Great India Palace Mall in Sector 18 when she was waylaid by 10 youths. She was taken to Gali Chowkhandi village in Sector 71 where she was gang-raped. In another incident, a 24-year-old girl was sitting in a Santro car with a man, around 8-10 men travelling in a car and motorcycles, caught the girl and pulled her inside their car.
Several earlier probes into abductions led the police to gangs operating from fringe villages. Smuggling of illegal arms and supply to crime syndicates within the state and to the adjoining states has been running unchecked.
“Guns and cartridges are easily available for Rs 200 a piece. The cops sit at check posts collecting bribes and nobody wants to probe this angle. Earlier, there had been a move to separate the investigation and law and order duties of the police. But, it,” obviously fell through as nobody was interested in implementing it’ avers a retired UP police chief, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The startling fact is that in a very brief span of three months three SSPs have been transferred from the district. Hailing from Gaya, Bihar, a 1996 batch IPS officer Jyoti Narayan, SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar, is all set to handle the scenario which has been at its low ebb for years but the moot question is if he would stay long enough to acquaint himself with the prevailing situation. More evident is that he has been transferred more than 27 times in last ten years. Prior to NOIDA, he has served Meerut, Unaav, Sitapur and other districts as SSP and was earlier posted as SP Training at Lucknow. His endeavour will be to bring the city of NOIDA on a par with Delhi as far as policing goes.
By Syed Wazid Ali