Spurt in chain-snatching incidents ‘a matter of grave concern’, says Allahabad High Court

‘Such incidents need to be taken seriously’ and have created a ‘fear psychosis rendering many women reluctant to step out of their homes’, the court says

A spurt in incidents of chain-snatching is a matter of grave concern and has created a fear psychosis, rendering many women reluctant to step out of their homes, the Allahabad High Court has noted.

The court made the observation while rejecting the bail application of a person accused of chain-snatching and later firing at the police team which had gone to apprehend him last October in Kanpur.

“Even as the chain-snatchers continue to prowl the city with repeated incidents of them targeting women, a sense of fear has been instilled in women who have now stopped wearing gold ornaments or at the most wear a very thin one that is not even visible,” the court said.

Such incidents needed to be taken seriously and the offenders must be instilled with a sense of fear so that women felt safe and free as such incidents not only caused terror but also restricted their mobility, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh said.

In an order dated June 26, the court also said that “undoubtedly rights of the accused are important, but equally important is the societal interest for bringing the offender to book and for the system to send a right message to all in society. Undue sympathy for offender would be more harmful to justice system and undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law.”

On October 4, a woman and daughter-in-law, who were out in a market, were sitting in an auto-rickshaw when two bike-borne men approached their vehicle on a motorcycle and fled after snatching the woman’s gold chain.

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