Bengaluru

Vandals want to rule area: police

MINDLESS VIOLENCE: Effective night patrolling is the need of the hour. File Photo: K. Gopinathan   | Photo Credit: K. Gopinathan

Sasisekar Albert still rues his decision on October 30 to park his rented autorickshaw near his house in Sarabandepalya near Pragathipura in the city, instead returning it to the owner. That was the night the vandals turned up and, for no fault of his, badly damaged the vehicle.

Mr. Albert had to pay his owner Rs. 9,000 to repair the vehicle, a huge sum for an autorickshaw driver who owns no vehicle and is forced to rent it for Rs. 300 a day.

“The autorickshaw was not insured. They broke the glass and cut open the seat covers. Night patrolling in this area is poor,” Mr. Albert told The Hindu.

That night, the gang also damaged several cars and goods autorickshaws parked by the roadside as well as bakeries and other business centres in the area.

Disturbing trend

This sort of vandalism is now a disturbing trend in the city. Apart from the Sarabandepalya incident, miscreants went on the rampage at Prakashnagar, Mahalakshmi Layout, Vijayanagar, Beereshwaranagar near Chunchaghatta, Yeshwanthpur, Triveni Road, Shivaji Circle, Parks Road and Tasker Town, damaging at least 70 vehicles and several shops.

“The hooligans smashed my car windows and deflated the tyres. Before escaping on motorcycles, they asked us to leave this place,” said a resident of Triveni Road.

At least seven such incidents, in which about 30 armed men were involved, have been reported in different parts of the city in the last six weeks.

An Assistant Commissioner of Police, who did want to be named, admitted that the vandals created chaos. “We arrested 33 persons and recovered hockey sticks, weapons and vehicles. Our investigation points to enmity, business rivalry and other reasons,” he said.

Creating fear

A senior police official of the Central Crime Branch attributed the crime to miscreants wanting to create fear.

“People, especially youngsters, with criminal background, are behind this. One young man, who was arrested, said he damaged the vehicles to establish his dominance and create a wave of fear in his locality,” he said.

This was endorsed by the confessions of four others who, during questioning, said they wanted to rule the locality and planned to collect “hafta” from shopkeepers. “The vandalism was to send a message to businessmen,” said an officer of the Kumaraswamy Layout police station.

The police claim that they had intensified night patrolling. “We have issued instructions to police inspectors and sub-inspectors across the city,” said a CCB officer, and suggested that the public park their vehicles inside the compound.

Arrested

Meanwhile, the Subrahmanyanagar police on Friday arrested five youngsters in connection with Thursday’s vandalism at Prakashnagar, near Subramanyanagar here.

They were identified as Rakesh Shanmugam (19), Krishnamurthy Murugan (20), Kiran Raja (19) and Satish Vishwanath (20) of Prakashnagar, and Shashi Kumar Murthy (19) from Rajajinagar.

The police said that the five, fully drunk, allegedly damaged about 20 vehicles and had created chaos in the area.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:36:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Vandals-want-to-rule-area-police/article16853205.ece

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