Visakhapatnam

Elderly people at the receiving end

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Crime against them on the rise since 2015, say police

Elderly people appear to be always at the receiving end when it comes to crime. Be it chain snatching, cases of mugging or murder for gain, criminals have a tendency to target the elderly people, for their various vulnerabilities.

Most of the crimes that have been committed are against elderly women, who are over 65 years of age, said ACP (East) Narasimha Murthy.

The latest victim was 75-year-old Ratna Bharati, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances at her home, with her hands tied behind and mouth gagged. She was robbed of all the jewellery that she was wearing. The police suspect it was a murder for gain.

Last year there were 39 murders and two of them were classified as murder for gain. And both the murders were elderly women.

Since 2015, the crime against elderly women has been on the rise. In 2015, two women were murdered by two different gangs on the same day and since then there has been a steady increase.

Since 2015, there have been at least 10 cases of murder for gains, including the sensational murder of former corporator Chilla Satyavathi (70) in 2017. She was murdered by her tenants at her residence.

In most of the cases it has been seen that elderly women were murdered by someone who was known to them. They are their distant relatives, tenants or family friends who had knowledge of the wealth that they possessed, said CTF ACP I. Chittibabu. Of the 10 murders since 2015, at least six were committed by persons known to the victims, he added.

‘Beware of strangers’

Elderly people are easy targets, as most of them are physically weak and they can be easily threatened and overpowered, said the ACP. Elderly people are also easy target for chain snatchers. Of the 117 snatching cases reported in 2017, about 20 % of the victims were women above 60 years, said ADCP (Crime) Suresh Babu.

According to him, senior citizens living alone should not allow strangers into their house, unless he or she is well known to them and should venture out only with a companion. They should avoid wearing heavy jewellery and carry cash in bulk, said the ADCP.

Sumit Bhattacharjee

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 1:08:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/elderly-people-at-the-receiving-end/article22913039.ece

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