Police grapple with rising crime in Panchkula

Panchkula (Haryana), Nov 25 (Inditop.com) All the police’s efforts to curb crime in this town neighbouring Chandigarh seem to be proving futile. Be it banks, jewellers or residences, robbers have struck everywhere and there have been kidnapping cases too.

In a desperate attempt to control the situation, frequent transfers have been made in the police department. Manish Chaudhary, who joined as the new district police chief last week, is the third to hold the post in the last nine months.

But after he joined, Panchkula has seen three major heists in a short span of four days, including the robbery of goods worth over Rs.50 lakhs (Rs.5 million) from a showroom.

In the latest incident, three men looted nearly Rs.1.8 million in cash at gunpoint from the office of the power distribution agency here Monday.

“My first priority is to control the increasing crime rate in Panchkula and to keep a close tab on anti-social elements. We have started working in this direction and very soon we will achieve the desired results,” Chaudhary told Inditop.

Among the daylight bank robberies this year, Rs.1 million and Rs.1.15 million were looted respectively from branches of the State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of India..

In January, five robbers impersonating as policemen looted jewellery worth Rs.21 million from PC Jewellers at gunpoint and two workers of an Amritsar-based jeweller were drugged and later robbed of jewellery worth Rs.3 million.

Last month goods and cash worth Rs.1 million were looted from a gun store here.

A two-year-old girl was kidnapped in broad daylight from the courtyard of her home last month. The child was released the next day after her family paid a hefty ransom to the kidnappers.

In most of the cases, Panchkula Police are still groping in the dark.

Sandeep Khirwar, former superintendent of police (SP) of Panchkula, was transferred in February. Sources told IANS that an increase in the number of daylight robberies and slow probes into some sensational cases were the reasons behind Khirwar’s transfer.

Khirwar’s successor Amitabh Dhillon remained in the post for only nine months and he was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) this month.

“The shortage of police personnel has made Panchkula an easy target for the criminals. This is a very sensitive district that shares its boundary with Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, which makes our job tougher,” a senior Haryana police official said on condition of anonymity.

“During investigations, we have managed to gather many vital clues that indicate the involvement of the same gang in most cases. Very soon we will manage to nail all the culprits.”