Indiranagar agog with crime tales

Phones are frequently snatched in the neighbourhood, now in the news for a slashing incident
Last Updated 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST

Indiranagar residents are talking about a sharp increase in crime, especially around 12th Main. The road is a bustling commercial location, lined with restaurants and fashion stores.

A case that captured the city’s attention recently is that of a girl being slashed on her thigh (see below).

Many say muggings are rampant in the posh neighbourhood. Manna (name changed) had her phone snatched from 12th Main on March 7.

“Just three days before it happened I had seen this happen with someone else on 6th Main. They were two men on a bike. They briefly pulled up next to me and I heard them speak in Tamil and the next thing I know the man in front of me screams,” she says.

After that, she was extra cautious about using the phone on the streets. “When it happened to me I was near Lucky Chan. I took my phone out to message a friend and in a flash my phone was gone,” she says.

Dushyant Dubey, long-time resident of Indiranagar, believes 12th Main is targeted because it is where people from all over the city come to party and
splurge. “My friends have had their mobiles snatched and I have heard of countless cases from the restaurants and shops in the area,” he says.

Hit and chased

Riya (name changed) was out with three other friends when they were assaulted on 6th Main.

“It happened on March 11, around midnight. We walked from a gastropub to GMT for an ice cream. It was closed so we sat on the sidewalk to book ourselves a cab,” she says.

The friends had just pulled their masks down for a picture when three men arrived on a white scooter.

“Two approached us and the third started recording the encounter. They asked why we weren’t masks and we explained.”

“They cornered one of my friends, punching him until his face was covered in blood. Thankfully we got a cab soon,” she recalls.

Even after they got into the cab, the men were trying to pry open the doors. “They followed us. We were heading for Koramangala and they stopped us at the Domlur signal, believing we were headed to the police station. The cab driver convinced them otherwise,” she says.

How many stabbing incidents?

On March 23, a Reddit post detailing a stabbing incident went viral.

The user said that her sister’s thigh was slashed by a biker on March 13 on 12th Main. She got ten stitches at the nearby Chinmaya Mission Hospital and informed police about the incident.

Hospital staff and the police told her that the exact same thing had happened to another girl the night before. Social media posts are talking about a third and fourth stabbing incident as well.

What cops say

Dr Sharanappa S D, deputy commissioner of police (east), says the stabbing was a one-off case and does not hint at crime numbers going up. “The police had tracked her after she was admitted at the hospital, and she gave us in writing that she does not wish to file a case,” he says, explaining the lack of action. When asked about other crime attempts, he says what is posted on social media is vague, and does not help the police track down perpetrators.

How cops pass the buck

Manna and Dushyanth Dubey, who tried to lodge complaints against phones being snatched, faced resistance when they tried to file complaints.

“My friend’s phone was snatched on February 7. I first went to the Jeevan Bhima Nagar police station, where I was told to call the Hoysala. The Hoysala came and they asked the shops in the area if they had seen anything. After that, they told us to report the robbery on an app and go to the Indiranagar police station,” Dubey says. The Indiranagar and Jeevan Bhima Nagar made him run up and down several times, passing the buck. “After two or three more rounds, they decided the Indiranagar police station would take the complaint,” he says.

Even after all that, they refused to file an FIR. “Ultimately, I had to speak to someone senior in the police force,” he says. Manna says it took her four days to finally get the police to take her complaint. She too faced problems of jurisdiction between Indiranagar and Jeevan Bhima Nagar. Riya went to the Indiranagar police station two days after the incident. “They wanted my friend, the primary victim, to file the complaint but he had left the city by then,” she says.

A policeman accompanied them to the spot of the crime to try and find CCTV footage, and they found some from near the Domlur signal. “He said he would check at the head office and call. We never got a call back,” she says.

What now?

Dushyanth Dubey, Indiranagar resident, is planning to gather victims and hire a private investigator.

He claims I Change Indiranagar (ICN), a federation of RWAs from the area, has done nothing either. “I had messaged them earlier this month with details of the incident but they never responded,” he says.

Sneha Nandihal, president of I Change, says most of these incidents are just hearsay. The thigh-slashing incident triggered a wave of people talking in the second or third person, she told Metrolife.

“We should expect a certain increase in crime with so many people losing their jobs,” she says, referring to the phone robberies.

Most victims don’t file complaints as they think it is a hassle, she says, adding that she had sought additional patrolling.

(Published 30 March 2021, 17:31 IST)

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