Youth snatches woman IPS officer’s chain, lands in prison

Youth snatches chain of woman IPS officer
The CCTV visuals released by the police and the culprit, Salim.

Thiruvananthapuram: A youth who tried to snatch the chain of a woman IPS trainee in the Kerala capital has been nabbed by the police.

IPS trainee Aishwarya Prasant Dongra was out for a morning walk when the bike-borne thief tried to snatch her chain. The incident happened last Saturday on the service road along the Kovalam bypass in the Pachaloor-Kolanthra region.

The IPS trainee, who is also the Thiruvallam Station SHO, had noted the bike’s registration number. The police had also released the CCTV visuals of the incident. Based on the CCTV visuals and the bike’s number, the police got a clear picture of the culprit. They tracked down the owner of the bike KL02 AF 1361 - Salim, a 29-year-old native of Poonthura. The suspect, arrested from near his house with the help of shadow police on Monday night, was taken into custody and thoroughly questioned.

The police have filed a robbery case against him. However, other complaints against Salim, including troubling women, have now surfaced. Fort assistant commissioner R Prathapan Nair said the accused would be taken in custody and a detailed investigation carried out into the complaints. The accused was presented in court and remanded.

Salim had spent the rest of the days, oblivious to the fact that he had tried to snatch the chain of a woman IPS trainee and that the police were on the lookout for him. When the police reached near his rented house at Pachalloor, Salim had tried to flee. The police said that the suspect had to be brought down using force. He had no idea that the news of his chain snatching bid had appeared in the media, along with the CCTV visuals. Police informed that the accused had not been booked under any criminal charges prior to this case.

1361 becomes evidence

The police force was determined to nab the culprit who had tried to snatch the chain of a woman police officer. It is quite commendable that the suspect has been arrested in just two and a half days since the incident had taken place. The police took it as a challenge on the force itself and it was more of a matter of pride for them to arrest the culprit as soon as possible.

A special team, led by Fort Assistant Commissioner R Prathapan Nair was formed immediately to investigate the case. The police officers of the shadow and cyber departments in Thiruvallam were included in the team which worked diligently to nab the culprit. In a bid to save faces, the police had initially claimed that they had gathered significant information about the suspect within just an hour after the incident had taken place.

The first breakthrough in the case was provided by the young woman IPS trainee herself, who, after a moment of shock, regained her balance and ran after the speeding bike. Meanwhile, she had etched the registration number 1361 and the bike’s model, Hero Passion Pro in her memory. This information proved significant in the investigation and the final arrest of the accused.

The CCTV visuals between Poonthuara and Kovalam were inspected by the police. The visuals from eight surveillance cameras installed in the vicinity of the spot where the incident had taken place were thoroughly checked by the police. As the image of the bike was seen within the surveillance of a camera which covered just a short distance from where the incident had taken place, the police surmised that the suspect may have left the main road and switched to a pocket road. It made the police suspect that the culprit may be a local resident. The next step was to investigate the details of the owner of the bike using the registration number.

The police had gone through the registration details of more than a lakh of Passion Pro bikes in the capital. Later, the investigation was extended to the neighboring Kollam district as well. The KL 02 AF 1361 registration number identified the owner of the bike as a native of Punthura, Manikyavila. It didn’t take much long after this for the police to nab the suspect at his rented house.