Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hitching a ride at night may prove costly

Hitching a ride at night may prove costly
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: With a spurt in robberies on the road, the city is has become dangerous for those who thumb down passing vehicles to get a ride home. On one hand, the victims’ plight can be blamed on poor public transport in the night.

But the police are facing much criticism for not conducting regular night patrol.

The situation has become very alarming, with incidents happening almost every night. On Saturday, four men flagged down a car with four occupants near K R Puram bus stop. When the vehicle reached Malur, they brandished knives and robbed the travellers of their cash and debit cards.

In most cases, including the one on Saturday, the victims fell prey to robbers, as they could not get a bus after 11 pm. Speaking to this website’s newspaper, DCP East P Muniswamy said he suspected the involvement of a gang in these crimes.

“They grab the opportunity when they see people stranded without any transportation in the in the night,” he said. The victims are easily cheated by the driver’s innocent appearance and decide to go. It is difficult for the police to check each vehicle on the vehicle, he said.

Meanwhile, the City police have asked the BMTC to increase the number of buses during late night. “As far as preventive measures in such cases are concerned, we advise commuters to avoid hitching a ride during night. The only way to discourage criminals is to have late night bus services,” Muniswamy said.

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