Hyderabad: Detention of criminals under the Preventive Detention Act appears to be having little or no effect at all on several petty offenders, who are resuming their activities soon after being released. Recently, Habeebnagar police nabbed a few, who were involved in house burglaries and pocket picking cases. They were involved in more than a dozen cases.
One of the suspects, Shaik Salman, was involved in about 25 cases in the twin cities and was arrested and detained by the Malakpet police under the PD Act in 2015.
He was released from jail about two months ago and resumed committing offences, while other suspect, N Gopi, involved in about 13 cases, was also detained and released three months ago. He too has now been found to be involved in more offences.
“Usually we have noticed that notorious history sheeters, rowdies, land sharks and murderers who are involved in grave crimes are cautious and often stay away from crime once detained under the PD Act. However, crooks involved in smaller crimes like pickpocketing and burglary continue to commit offences. Deterrence is lesser in them,” said V Satyanarayana, DCP, South Zone, adding that notorious criminals like Zafar Pahelwan, after detention under the PD Act, had remained off the crime scene.
Officials said in some cases, the men get back to crime to survive. As they know to earn only through illegal means. “They are not scared of the law, police or the government. They do not care about the society and the stigma attached to it. Other’s opinions do not matter to them. They have no guilty feeling over their actions too,” another senior official said.
There was another angle as well. Unlike other criminals who are arrested and imprisoned, chain snatchers or pickpockets detained under the PD Act are treated well in prisons. They enjoy the stay and the food from the prison.
During their stay, not much pressure is on them like those imprisoned for other offences. They opine even the jail authorities should be little strict with them, which can help in deterrence. “We hope the only way to bring deterrence is to detain them each time whenever they are caught in cases,” said Satyanarayana.