ncidents of pick pocketing and mobile phone thefts by women in the Delhi Metro are on the rise. Security personnel said that 90% of the pick-pockets caught are women. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials admitted that the number of complaints is rising.
M.S. Upadhyaye, chief security commissioner of DMRC said, "The situation is bad. A large gang of women pick-pockets from Patel Nagar and adjoining localities like Prem Nagar operate on the metro circuit. The women range in the age group of 18-35 years. All of them are trained in the profession and indulge mostly in thefts at busy metro stations. These women are well-dressed as working professionals, usually carrying huge bags and would not come across as thieves. The rise in the number of incidents is because most of them even after being arrested are not produced in court while the hearing for some is not done on time and hence they keep coming back."
He added that the gang used to earlier carry out thefts in buses. But since most DTC buses have become low-floor with automatic doors, it is difficult to run out immediately and so they have switched to the Delhi metro, which is more crowded.
The CISF, which handles the security of metro stations, has been conducting drives against pick-pocket gangs and has begun patrolling the stations by personnel in plain clothes.
"On an average, we receive nearly four to five complaints of pick pocketing daily", said a CISF official posted with the police outpost at Rajiv Chowk. He added that this is a normal trend in all the police stations located near the 135 metro stations across Delhi.
Most complaints are registered at busy change over stations where passenger traffic is huge, even during the not-peak hours.
"I was de-boarding at the New Delhi metro station to catch a train from the railway station. I stepped out to get a bottle of water when I realised that my wallet was not in my bag. Thankfully, I had not kept my train tickets in it and managed to travel, but I lost a lot of cash and my debit cards," said Arindita Baruah, a student.