HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: It’s time women, who prefer to travel putting on gold jewelleries, became aware of the risks they are taking.
On Wednesday, when Tulasi Maya Shrestha (66) of Jhokhel was waiting for a bus to travel home from Koteshwor, a woman approached and lured her into going to Sinamangal for a cup of tea.
An unsuspecting Shrestha went to the Bhetghat Sekuwa Corner with her unidentified ‘friend’ where she had tea, unaware that it contained sedatives. She passed out soon and the unidentified woman robbed her of gold ornaments worth Rs 1.8 lakh. She came to know about the loss on a KMC hospital bed in Sinamangal. Shrestha is just a case in point.
Despite police claims that they have taken preventive measures to curb crime in the Kathmandu Valley, the incidents of drugging-and-robbing continue unabated. Records show police came across six such cases in the past one week and seven people fell prey to the racketeers involved in drugging and robbing, including four women in their 60s. The loot includes gold ornaments, cash and mobile phone sets.
Five drugging-and-robbing incidents occurred in the Capital in the past week whereas one such incident happened in Lalitpur.
On Thursday, an unidentified gang rendered Rudra Maya Dulal (62) of Sindhupalchowk unconscious by offering her spiked food near the Bagalamukhi Temple in Lalitpur and robbed her of gold ornaments weighing 1.5 tolas. Only while receiving treatment at the Patan Hospital did the woman found about the robbery.
Police have managed to arrest only one gang member, Shailesh Thapa (44) of Lalitpur, who drugged and robbed Moti Tamang, an elderly woman, gold ornaments weighing one tola and a mobile phone set at Kalimati. Police have also arrested Pushpa Ratna Bajracharya, who bought the robbed ornaments from Thapa. Police said robbers are active in bus parks, hospitals and hotel areas. They approach their targets, especially elderly women, walking in solitary places, win their confidence by talking as if they have known the targets for long and offer spiked foodstuff to them in restaurants and hotels, where they rob them, investigators warned. Kin of patients undergoing treatment in health facilities, people returning home from foreign countries and elderly women are their soft targets, an official said. Police warned that elderly women sporting gold ornaments are more vulnerable to cheating and appealed to all to take extra precautions for the safety of their property. Police said they are stepping up vigil in vulnerable areas and suspects to prevent such incidents.