New Delhi: Be careful while travelling on the Delhi Metro as the teenaged girl disguised as a student or a woman carrying a toddler could be a pickpocket. Data collated by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which guards the network, shows that over 95 percent of the pickpockets caught on the network are women.
Data shows that of the 149 pickpockets apprehended between January and May, 142 were women. A CISF officer dealing with women pickpockets on the Delhi Metro said that they camouflaged their intentions by clever modus operandi.
"There are several groups of woman pickpockets who randomly travel on the Metro. They board a train from one station and get down at the third or fourth one. They repeat this till they zero in on a target," the officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.
The officer said that women pickpockets travelling in the Metro are aged between 18 and 40 and nobody can easily detect them as pickpockets.
CISF spokesperson Hemendra Singh said that their raiding team had conducted 32 surprise checks between January and May and apprehended 149 pickpockets from the Metro premises.
As per CISF data, 354 pickpockets were apprehended in 2014 in 71 raids, while 466 pickpockets were held in 2013.
The CISF said that about 300 women pickpockets were held in 2014, while 421 were apprehend in 2013.
"We hand over the pickpockets to the Metro police when they are caught red-handed or based on passenger complaints. The CISF also conducts random weekly raids and drives out suspected pickpockets from the Metro premises," Hemendra Singh told IANS.
Asked how the pickpockets are identified, he said the CISF had a list of known pickpockets provided by Delhi Police. "We match the photographs of suspicious people with those provided in the list while monitoring CCTV footage."
He said another method was monitoring the movement of passengers who seemed to be hanging on in the Metro system without any definite destination.
Hemendra Singh said such suspects were also fined Rs.200 or Rs. 250 and warned of strict action so that they do not muster the courage to break the law.
The CISF is the designated nodal force for securing the Delhi Metro rail network that has 136 stations.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at email@example.com)