The Hindon Canal road, a lifeline for people travelling from Ghaziabad to Delhi, has become a haven for notorious elements. The situation has worsened over the past two years and even police officials admit that the route is not safe for travelling at wee hours.
The canal that runs along the length of Indirapuram and Vaishali is popularly known as the neher wala rasta and is used by a large number of commuters as a faster route to the Delhi border. Aejaz Shamim, a Ghaziabad-based businessman, said, “I was mugged there last month by a small group who made me stop the car by almost crashing into it with a two wheeler. They took away my car and other valuables and left me tied on the roadside. All this happened between 7-8pm when the road is still busy.”
However, Salmantaj Jafertaj Patil, SP City Ghaziabad, claimed, “We have not come across any major incident on the Hindon Canal route. We have a PCR van in the area and the crime scenario is under control.”
Officers at the Indirapuram police station, where all the cases of the route get registered, however, said that they do not have any data on how many incidents of mugging and snatching have taken place on the route. A police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “In the past one month, 57 cases of thefts have been reported from Indirapuram, out of which four cases were of burglary. So far, only four people have been arrested in these cases.”
Admitting the lack of safety on the Hindon Canal road, the police officer said, “We, too, avoid traveling on the route after 12 am. There are no proper street lights or CCTV cameras on the road. Our investigations have revealed that the criminals belong to nearby states and flee to neighbouring cities after committing the crime.”
Speaking about businessman Aejaz Shamim’s case, a police officer who had visited the crime scene when the incident had occurred, said, “We did not buy the victim’s story as he says his car was crashed into which would have surely created chaos during peak hours.”
Another Ghaziabad resident who is a senior government official, narrowly escaped being mugged. Requesting anonymity, the victim said, “Twice, I was nearly a victim. Both the times, when I showed my ID card, the thieves fled.
K.Hasan, a Ghaziabad resident and a retired government official, said, “It is not just about Hindon Canal road. NH24, NH58 and other routes that daily commuters use between the capital and Ghaziabad, are all unsafe at odd hours. It is not just about girls travelling late at night, but men, too, are equally vulnerable at gunpoint. Proper measures should be taken before something as adverse as the Bulandshahr incident takes place here.”