Monday, January 31, 2005

Extortionists find non-Karnataka students easy prey

Extortionists find non-Karnataka students easy prey

The police say that many of the victims hesitate to lodge complaints apprehending that they may be troubled by the criminals later, writes K.V. Subramanya
The Hindu

INCIDENTS OF students of reputed colleges being threatened and relieved of mobile phones, gold ornaments and cash are being reported from the city.

Criminal gangs have been mainly targeting students from other States studying here.

According to the police, who recently arrested two persons on the charge of extortion, the criminals gain acquaintance with students from other States and frequent their place of stay, rooms or hostels.

After ascertaining their financial strength, the criminals threaten the students with weapons and withdraw money using their ATM cards.

They also relive them of mobile phones, gold chains and rings.

"They mainly target students from other States as they normally have a few thousands in their bank accounts and also do not have much local support," said a police official who played a key role in arresting Suresh alias Suraj Yesupal (30) of Hesarghatta and Murugesh alias Ayyu (28) of Mallasandra, who had extorted cash (using ATM cards) and taken away mobile phones from students of Acharya Engineering College in Peenya.

In another incident reported on Wednesday, a four-member gang barged into a house in Viveknagar police station limits and robbed five MBA students of five gold chains, six rings and five mobile phones, together worth Rs. 44,000, after threatening them with swords.

Using the ATM cards of the students, they also withdrew Rs. 13,000 from two ATMs.

The victims, all from Kerala, are students of a management college on Dickenson Road.

"We suspect some one who had keenly watched the movements of the students to have committed the crime," says B.B. Ashok Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Ulsoor Gate Sub-division). Some time ago, the police, in three separate cases, arrested a six youths who threatened the students of B.E.S College in Jayanagar, Acharya Polytechnic in Peenya and Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain College in Visveshwarapuram, and relieved them of gold chains and mobile phones.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), M.C. Narayana Gowda, says that before robbing the students, the criminals either befriend them or approach them stating that they are involved in an assault case. "The robbers accosted the MBA students in Viveknagar by stating that they had assaulted one of their friends," he says.

Mr. Gowda, while terming these incidents as "stray" ones, says the situation is not alarming.

"To check robberies, chain snatching and extortion we have intensified patrolling from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m."

According to a police official, software engineers and employees of multinational companies, mainly those from other States working here, too have been extorted of cash and their mobile phones taken away.

Some of the students do not lodge complaints fearing that the criminals will trouble them later. Thus, some cases go unreported, he says.


Post a Comment

<< Home