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Police invoke MCOCA against 4 arrested for chain-snatching

After failing miserably to curb chain-snatching incidents in the city and receiving flak from all quarters, the police, in a first-of-its-kind move, have chargesheeted four suspects arrested for executing chain-snatchings in the city under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

The police officials hope that after slapping the stringent MCOCA against these suspects the incidents of chain-snatching, which stand at nearly 250 so far this year, will come down in the near future as it will act as a deterrent.

“The Kothrud police officials recently busted a gang of four chain-snatchers, who were involved in more than 10 chain-snatching cases in the city. After arresting the accused, one of them being Arun Pawar of Kothrud, on June 29, we sent an application to the Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Anant Shinde seeking permission to impose MCOCA against these suspects, and fortunately we got the permission,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Zone I), Kalyan Lawange, said.

The remaining suspects have been identified as Sunil Laxman Gavali, Angad Mahadev Gavali and Rohidas Gupte. “These four suspects, including the gang’s mastermind Pawar, had approximately 10 cases of chain-snatching registered against them at various police stations,” Lawange said. “It was a long pending proposal, in which the police department was thinking of slapping MCOCA against chain-snatchers. I am very happy that in our case the higher officials gave us permission to use the stringent act against these suspects.”

By imposing MCOCA, the chain-snatchers will be given a maximum quantum of punishment if they are convicted in the court. And if one of their victims is severely injured or killed, then the convicts will be awarded life imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 1 lakh.

“The act also provides us with the provision of having a special fast track court, in which the trail will be expedited,” Lawange said. Commissioner of Police, Gulabrao Pol, said the department was confident that by invoking such stringent act against offenders, cases of chain-snatching will see a significant dip in the near future.

“After arresting the suspects, we sent a proposal to the higher authorities, and urged them to allow us to slap MCOCA against these chain-snatchers. I am very happy that the officials gave us the permission,” Senior Police Inspector Chandrakant Ghodake of the Kothrud Police station said. The use of the act will work as a deterrent for motorcycle-borne criminals.” 

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