They recovered a stolen gold chain from her. Her three young accomplices were sent to a juvenile home
Lalbaugcha Raja. Pic/Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal
A gang comprising a 20-year-old woman and three girls has been apprehended for stealing from devotees visiting Lalbaugcha Raja and Siddhivinayak temple. The woman was arrested by the Shivaji Park police. They recovered a stolen gold chain from her. Her three young accomplices were sent to a juvenile home.
This incident appears to be the tip of the iceberg. Authorities have revealed that there are numerous small gangs, which include women, travelling here with the sole purpose of stealing valuables from devotees. Exercise extra caution with reference to your belongings especially on a crowded visarjan day.
In fact, it is not just now, but all crowds that will attract thieves, pickpockets, but religious throngs especially are often easy pickings for these trained, agile fingered gangs.
At best, keep little cash with you when visiting these sites and if possible do not carry valuables or wear jewellery. If that can be done it may very well be worth less tension and you may be less on edge.
Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for organisers and the police patrol. While it is not always feasible, it may work in your favour if you do have some knowledge about where to reach out to them. In this context, CCTV can also provide good clues and lead to breakthroughs. Good surveillance at pandals and on the roads will be especially helpful these days.
Some announcements urging devotees to be wary, giving them directions on who they can approach if they have been robbed will also be helpful. In fact, any clear-cut instructions that alleviate panic or distress can be an absolute life saver.
In the end, it is awareness and alertness that can be your biggest allies. The wrongdoers, if they sense you are suspicious, have your wits about you may give you a wide berth. Safety, spirituality and celebrations can go together. Make it work this way.