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Republic Day is a feast for the eyes, with the India Gate and Rajpath lit up so beautifully. I’ve been to the parade once, as a child. The temperate morning with the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force a few hundred feet in front of you made the area feel like the most secure place in the world. Sadly, that’s far from the truth. In the recently concluded celebration of India’s Republic Day, 40 mobile phones were reportedly stolen in that security-tight area during the parade.    

More than 4,000 security officials and police personnel were posted at the parade area, specifically South Avenue. The thieves managed to creep into high-security areas, through a barrage of security checkpoints. They managed to nick more than 40 smartphones from the unsuspecting crowd. 

Police stations at Tilak Marg, Tughlak Road, and Parliament Street received most of the mobile theft complaints. Surprisingly, the thieves pickpocketed a police officer and a Lieutenant Colonel as well.

The complaint submitted by the Army officer mentioned that he went to attend the Republic Day parade with his family. The Army officer had entered the enclosure with his family. Security details at the spot announced enclosures to be completely filled, with no further entries to be admitted at the time. The family waited in the enclosure huddled up, when somebody allegedly stole the army man’s daughter’s mobile phone from her pocket. 

The Delhi Police inspector, on the other hand, was going through Man Singh Road’s round-about. The inspector checked his coat’s pocket when he got to a less crowded area and realized that his phone was missing.

The officer assured, “We have received complaints and all of the cases are under investigation. We will obtain CCTV footage of the locations where the thefts took place to identify the culprits. The entry points had CCTV surveillance.” 

It’s true that smart criminals attack where it’s least expected. Too bad, the pickpockets forgot about the security cameras. The responsibility falls on us as well. We need to remember to keep our hands in our pockets when going through a thick crowd. 

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