Thieves on the prowl in private buses in Kozhikode

Private buses in the district are emerging as the soft target of thieves in the absence of any effective safety mechanism to keep an eye on suspicious persons. Surveillance cameras are yet to be installed in buses by a majority of operators who cite technical difficulties.

Apart from the loss of money and gold ornaments, many of the victims are now in a situation to run pillar to post for the re-issue of stolen documents like licence, PAN card, and ATM card. Services to rural areas of Kozhikode are reportedly emerging as the favourite routes of suspected gangs.

Though migrant women are usually suspected or held for stealing valuables based on circumstantial evidence, the absence of any strong incriminating evidence affects follow-up investigations.

The usual practice of taking the buses involved in such incidents to the nearest police stations is also claimed to be a futile exercise. For some of the bus operators, the process of the police to recover the CCTV hard disc from the bus to proceed with the investigation is a harrowing experience. Many of them fear that it will drag them to unwanted legal complications. According to them, the delay in getting back the seized hard disc after recovering the footage is a headache.

“What we do now is to just alert the passengers about the recurring incidents of thefts. Though we keep an eye on passengers during their entry and exit, it may not work as expected always,” says a private bus worker from Balussery. According to him, there were many incidents in which the accused were caught red-handed.

Meanwhile, a victim in one of the recent chain theft cases during a bus journey says the accused persons are reportedly getting legal aid on the spot to secure bail or settle the case with the complainant.

She says she has got ₹80,000 for compensating the loss of a stolen gold chain through such a mediation.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 1:18:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/thieves-on-the-prowl-in-private-buses-in-kozhikode/article38276291.ece