Pune: Citizens in some parts of the city woke up in the dead of the night to find vehicles up in smoke or with battered windshields and window panes. Investigators said, in at least two cases, teenagers with anger management problems were responsible.
However, vandalism of vehicles have not gone up in 2017. In fact, the Pune police have actually reported a drop in such cases from 63 in 2016 to 47 in 2017.

Three of the offenders in these cases were detained under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, police commissioner Rashmi Shukla said.

Certain incidents of vandalism or torching of vehicles were carried out by people on police radar or repeat offenders while in other cases first-time offenders burned down vehicles.

“Such crimes have declined because the police have taken stringent action against the suspects under various laws including MPDA,” deputy commissioner of police (crime) Pankaj Dahane, said.

Deputy commissioner of police (zone II) Pravin Mundhe said, “Whenever vandalism or torching of vehicles is reported, we have taken them very seriously. We have promptly identified and arrested the suspects and filed chargesheets against them by invoking stringent sections of the Indian Penal Code. Such crimes have declined because of visible policing and taking preventive action. The suspects have committed the crime under the influence of liquor in most of the cases.”

Deputy commissioner of police (zone I) Basavraj Teli said, “Ramnagar in Warje Malwadi and Kothrud were the two affected areas where torching and damaging vehicles were reported. In the case at Warje, we have detained two criminals under MPDA and in the case at Kothrud we have invoked charges of attempt to commit murder against the suspects because they had come with weapons for attacking the complainant and caused damage to vehicles.”

“The in-charge of concerned police stations have prepared a list of criminals involved in such crimes and we are in the process of taking preventive action against them,” Teli added

Retired additional director general of police Rajendra Sonawane said, ” Vandalising vehicles has become a trend among youngsters to gain supremacy over others for petty reasons. Such incidents are common in Warje Malwadi, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Vadgaon Dhayari, Dattawadi and Upper Indiranagar in Bibvewadi. Gang rivalry, unemployment and fights over vargani (donation) are other reasons for vandalism,” he added.

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