VISAKHAPATNAM: In the wake of the increasing number of attacks on lonely elderly persons, particularly women, the city police have decided to gather information with the help of the municipal authorities in the city limits and keep a constant check on their safety. It may be recalled that two elderly women were murdered for gain in cold blood on the evening of April 13, Monday.
The police have decided to adopt a two-pronged approach - counselling and awareness campaigns - in the ensuing days. After collecting statistics on elderly people staying alone in the city limits, the police will counsel them on crimes and measures to be taken for their safety. The police are planning to launch an awareness campaign to educate people on these crimes.
Most robber gangs were found targetting elderly women, either widows, or abandoned by their children, or simply staying alone while being in possession of cash or gold ornaments.
Miscreants are learnt to be conducting recces first, to establish the status of their would-be victims before carrying out well-planned attacks. Last year alone, there were four such cases in the city, with the murder of a woman from Arilova being the most shocking. In the case, the miscreants, a couple, targetted the elderly woman, who used to show people around the rented house in her building. The accused, who entered the house on the pretext of wanting to rent it, murdered her even as they engaged her in a friendly conversation and fled the spot.
This year, two murders for gain have been registered - one at Akkayyapalem and the other at Jagadamba junction. ADCP (Crimes) S Varadaraju said that while intruders might be neighbours or close relatives or friends plotting to loot wealthy victims, sometimes total strangers were also found befriending lone house owners on the pretext of renting the house and attacking them.
“According to the registered cases, in all the crimes, the accused have entered the house and attacked the victim. If the intruder is a total stranger, why did the victim allow him inside? The accused takes the opportunity to befriend the prospective victim, enters the house and then proceeded to attack,” he added.
DCP (Crimes) T Ravi Kumar Murty said, “The police would form teams to take up large-scale campaigning after making a list of women staying alone in the city limits and would counsel them on the precautions to be taken. Like in the petty issues like chain snatching and property offences, there would be awareness campaigns by distributing pamphlets and posters among the public.”