*Picture shows a bike rider who allegedly faced gold chain snatching crime in Doranda, Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand, on Tuesday morning

It is a disturbing thought, but state law enforcement agencies staff suspect the withdrawal of Coronavirus lockdown could develop into a serious crime problem.

Already, a spurt in theft cases has been noticed in Koderma. And police officials in the district which share a border with Bihar feel they may have a problem on their hands after the lockdown is withdrawn, given the joblessness of migrants who had returned home from far-flung areas in the country.

"It is a classic situation to develop into a law and order problem", remarks Koderma Sub -Inspector Ramadhin Singh(name changed to protect identity). He says an increase in the number of thefts and snatching has been noticed in the last couple of weeks and some of these could be attributed to scarcity condition.

Singh, however, hastens to add, "it can turn into alarming if the preventive policy for controlling crime in the post - lockdown period is not planned and executed by the state administration.

Though DGP M.V. Rao is not available for his take, a senior police officer admits that there is no concrete planning for this likely phenomenon and says "we have records showing unprecedented instances of theft and murder which have remained unexplained."

In any case, the state police administration has issued directives to SPs of the districts not to post or deploy police officers of 50 plus age and others who were suffering from a chronic ailment. As per the directive, such police officers will not be posted in hot spot area, containment zone, COVID-19 hospital and Quarantine Centre.

" Many migrant labourers who had returned home after getting stranded in metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Chennai, were suffering from the loss of liquid cash. There is always the temptation of making a fast buck among jobless men", he said.

Ravi Shankar Kumar, DY.SP, admits incidents of crime were far less during the lockdown 1,2 and 3. " This scene can change for the worse after lockdown is slowly withdrawn", Kumar anticipates.

More importantly, since the mask is going to be worn by criminals too, the police will find it difficult to identify the accused. This can pose yet another challenge for the police, it must be noted to find a way out of it.

*Note: At this time when the withdrawal process of the lockdown has already started, the state administration should not only plan to confront the possible rise in crime but also plan to contain another day- to -day problem- traffic jam and noise pollution caused by vehicles horns.  

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