With Deepavali round the corner, festival shoppers have begun converging on the bazaar, especially the textile showrooms, slowing traffic on the Masi Streets.

But police want womenfolk to be vigilant following Wednesday’s chain snatching spree by motorcycle-borne thieves.

“It becomes difficult for people or the police to chase them, as they usually come in high-speed vehicles,” a police officer said. Six chain snatching incidents were reported during the Deepavali season last year.

“If the chains are covered with dupatta or the sari pallu around the neck, they are difficult for thieves to snatch,” the officer said. Pedestrians are advised to stay to the right of the road to help them keep an eye on on-coming vehicles.”

The police advise shoppers to avoid holidays and crowded shops. “People should not wait till the last minute, but should finish the shopping during the lean period,” the officer suggested.

As part of the security plan for the Masi Streets, watch towers will be installed at 16 vantage points in the old city to keep track of the movements of anti-social elements. Plainclothes police will be posted at crowded places.

Watch towers are

to come up at 16 vantage points, writes S. Sundar