The Mumbai SENSEX is not the only thing going up out here in India. One side effect of the economic boom in India is dramatic rise in crime rates. For last couple of weeks I have been reading local newspapers and watching local TV and talking to lot of people, one thing is clear , there is dramatic increase in crime rate.
This week TV channels were running a story of a daring day light robbery caught on CCTV in a jewelery shop in Bangalore. The footage showed 5 armed men entering the shop and pushing the employees and customer in a room and coolly walking away with all the jewellery in the shop.Out here in Pune where I am currently based there has been over 23 jewellery shop robberies in last one year according to the local newspaper.
Residential robberies are also a major problem. Most home owners are scared of robberies and break ins. According to the weekend newspaper here most housing colonies are hiring armed guards and in many areas local citizens have set up voluntary night vigils to prevent crime.
Two popular items with robbers are mobile phones and laptops. There have been number of cases since I came here of motorist being stopped at gun point on isolated spots on highways and asked to handover mobile phone and laptop. The highway connecting the city to the IT parks out here seems to be easy target for criminals.
Traditionally Pune was a calm, sleepy city with extremely low crime rate. Greater economic prosperity has made crime a high paying enterprise.