Armed robbery outside a Delhi Metro station

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <ams@toroid.org>

2011-01-04

Ramit was robbed of his mobile phone by four armed men on two scooters with no license plates at 0730 this morning, while waiting outside the New Ashok Nagar Metro station for me to pick him up on our way to the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. When he handed over his phone, they immediately discarded the SIM (which he recovered), and left. Fortunately, Ramit was not hurt.

We drove to the Police Chowki nearby, but there were no policemen there. Some hours later, we returned to the Metro station and spoke to the CISF personnel in charge of security. They said they would have tried to help if we had reported the crime immediately, but that they were responsible for security only inside the station premises. The CISF superintendent told us to file a complaint at the Yamuna Bank police station, and also said there had been other thefts in the area recently, but the Delhi Police personnel deputed to patrol the outside of the station never turned up as scheduled.

I submitted a report of the incident as feedback on the Delhi Metro web site, and also called them up and spoke to a Ms. Rita Kumar at the DMRC to report the robbery. She promised to "forward" the information I gave her, for whatever that is worth, but again said that incidents outside the station were solely the problem of the Delhi Police.

Aside: the Metro station in question is (like many others) an elevated structure built around a platform. The road passes under it, and Ramit was waiting there on the sidewalk in front of a pillar with a "Station Entry" sign on it. While it may technically be outside the premises of the station, it seems somewhat irresponsible for the DMRC to wash its hands of security directly underneath the station, barely thirty metres from the entrance.

Despite his traumatic morning, Ramit (who says he has been mugged before in Nairobi) wanted to stick to our plan, and we had a nice bird-watching session at Okhla and Khadar. Notable sightings include the first Citrine Wagtail of the black-backed calcarata race this season, close-up views of Black-breasted Weavers, four Ferruginous Pochards, and a number of White-tailed Stonechats, Striated Babblers, and Graceful Prinias. I also relished the opportunity to study various species of grasses in detail.