Chain snatchers numb woman with mystery powder; held

Chain snatchers numb woman with mystery powder; held

The women are repeat offenders and have been named in 18 cases since 2018

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

A gang of two women snatched the gold chain of an elderly lady amid a sea of devotees at a well-known temple in South Bengaluru but were eventually chased down by the public, police said.  

The incident was reported from the Sri Bande Mahakali Temple, Gavipuram, on Wednesday during the Mahalaya Amavasya rush. The suspects had thrust a black powder-like substance on their victim's forehead before snatching the chain, making her go numb briefly. 

The victim, Sharadamma, 60, from Marenahalli, JP Nagar, was visiting the temple with her son Babu and daughter-in-law Lakshmidevi at the time. Around 11.30 am, as Sharadamma was walking a few feet ahead of Babu and Lakshmidevi outside the temple premises, two women came from behind, shoved the mystery substance on her forehead, snatched her 24-gram chain, and ran off. 

Lakshmidevi saw what happened, raised an alarm, and ran towards the women. Her husband and fellow devotees also went after the women and managed to catch them. 

Even as all this happened, Sharadamma stood still there with an impassive face. She had gone numb and had no idea what had happened. Lakshmidevi, Babu, and others attended to her, and helped her regain her senses. It's suspected that the substance pasted on her forehead numbed her senses. 

A Hoysala patrol car deployed in front of the temple arrived at the spot soon after and took the women to the police station. 

The arrested women as Padmavathi, 48, and Jyothi, 32, both hailing from Tamil Nadu and residents of Hoodi, East Bengaluru. Padmavathi is Jyothi's mother-in-law. The women are repeat offenders and have been named in 18 cases since 2018. A court has remanded them in judicial custody in the latest case. 

Jyothi's husband was also part of the gang as he helped dispose of the gold chains. Police are looking out for him. 

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