Two arrested for snatching handbag of PM Modi’s niece

Two arrested for snatching handbag of PM Modi's niece

NEW DELHI: Two men were arrested for allegedly snatching the handbag of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s niece Damyanti Ben Modi, police said on Sunday.

Two men had wrenched the handbag from Damayanti Ben’s grasp when she was alighting from an auto-rickshaw Saturday morning in North Delhi’s Civil Lines area. The bag contained Rs 56,000, two mobile phones, some documents and other valuables.

Based on a complaint by her, police registered a case and later identified the two snatchers.

Gaurav alias Nonu, 21, was arrested from Sonipat in Haryana where he was staying at a relative’s house, while Badal, 22, was arrested from Sultanpuri here later in the evening, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Monika Bhardwaj said.

Gaurav is a resident of Sadar Bazar but sometimes stayed in Nabi Karim, Pahargang, while Badal stayed in Sultanpuri, police said.

The snatching incident had taken place soon after Damayanti Ben reached Delhi from Amritsar at around 7 am at the Gujrati Samaj Bhawan in Civil Lines area, a senior police officer said. She had a flight to Ahmedabad in the evening.

The stolen items, including Rs 56,000, wristwatch and documents, have been recovered, the officer said, adding that the scooter was seized from the house of Gaurav’s aunt where he had gone after the incident.

The two men were identified after examining CCTV footage, he said.

After scanning the CCTV footage from the area, police found that the men went back to Sultanpuri after the crime, the officer said. “In the CCTV footage, the men were not seen wearing helmets. Also, the traffic policemen, who are usually present, were not in the area at the time of the incident. So, the men managed to ride without helmets from Sadar Bazaar to the incident spot and later to their hiding place,” the officer said.

During interrogation, Gaurav told police that he had spotted Damayanti Ben in an auto-rickshaw and followed her about a kilometre before targeting her, he said. Police said Gaurav was previously involved in a fight and it is being checked if he has any other case against him. Efforts are also on to see if Badal was involved in any other case, they added.

The Saturday incident occurred a few kilometres away from the residence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Damayanti Ben is the daughter of the prime minister’s brother Prahlad Modi.  “I came to Delhi and reached Gujarati Samaj Bhavan Saturday morning. I was scheduled to take a flight for Gujarat in the evening. I was getting off the auto-rickshaw when the snatchers targeted me,” she had said.

The accused, Gaurav, is a vagabond. He is married and has a three-year-old son. His father died and her mother married for the second time. He has four siblings but none of them are in contact with him due to his nature. He has been taken in police remand for a day for further questioning, police said.

He was found involved in previous case of section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons) of the Indian Penal Code. PTI

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