Mumbai: Mother-daughter traumatised after bag-snatching incident
Three crooks on a bike grabbed the woman’s bag, she was flung 10 feet away and injured her head; terrified 13-year-old daughter has been unable to leave home or appear for her final exam
A 43-year-old woman and her teenage daughter returning home from a bank, became the victims of a vicious mugging right outside their home, as three goons on a bike snatched the woman’s bag, flinging her 10 feet away and resulting in a head injury. But she wasn’t the only one affected by this episode — her 13-year-old daughter was so traumatised by the incident and the sight of her mother’s blood that she has since been unable to leave the house out of fear and has missed a final exam at her school.
13-year-old Anushka Sarkar shows the head injury sustained by her mother, Poonam, in the bag-snatching incident outside their Khar residence. The episode terrified both, leaving them unable to go out anywhere since. Pic/Sameer Markande
The incident took place on January 2, between 3 pm and 4 pm, as the mother-daughter duo had just returned to their residence at 14th Road, Khar. They were right opposite their society, Hemkund Villa, when the bag-snatchers appeared and latched on to Poonam Sarkar’s bag. When the bike-borne crooks tried to speed off, they threw Poonam off the ground. She landed around 10 feet away and hurt her head.
“I will never forget that incident in my life. The trio was young — between 20 to 25 years — and though they grabbed my bag quickly, they could not take it away from me easily. I was dragged on the road for a bit, until I was thrown off 10 feet away. My head was severely injured and while I was bleeding on the road, my daughter began screaming for help,” Poonam recalled.
In the commotion, the crooks made off with the bag, which held R10,000, three credit cards and Poonam’s smart phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 2).
Her daughter Anushka (13) is currently in Std VIII and was due to sit for her final exams, but is so frightened she cannot even step out of the house or concentrate on her studies. She skipped her Computer paper on Monday, and her mother said, “It happened in a matter of seconds, but I am worried for my daughter. She is traumatised because it all happened in front of her. It has had a terrible impact on her. Whenever she sees a bike from our balcony, she runs into the house.”
An FIR was lodged the same day the incident took place, but the family alleges the police have been slow to take action. Poonam told her brother, Amit Singh, about the incident, and he tried tracing her mobile phone’s location. “Through the remote location finder app, we learnt that the culprits were around Carter Road, but after that the phone was untraceable. The thieves logged out of the phone and switched it off,” said Amit.
Poonam added, “When we reached Carter Road in search of the thieves, we found another woman had been robbed, although she did not register a complaint. Locals informed us that the entire stretch of Carter Road has become a snatching hub, but we never imagined this could happen in our own neighbourhood as well.”
Amit said that even ten days after the incident, the cops had failed to nab the culprits. “I have written to the top brass of Mumbai Police about the incident. We don’t want such incidents to happen to other women. We have checked all the CCTV cameras installed near the spot, but we found that three were not functioning, while another is installed on a tree, and failed to capture the thieves’ image,” he said.
However, an official from Khar Police said the investigation was in process, and added, “We have registered the FIR under Sections 379 and 34 (theft and common intention) of the IPC against the accused; we will draw their sketches with the help of the victims’ description.”