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Criminals find lonely elders a soft target

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Criminals find lonely elders a soft target

TNN | Apr 2, 2015, 07.14 AM IST

CHENNAI: Septuagenarian Padmasini Rajagopal was found strangled in her ground floor apartment around 1pm in Madipakkam. Her hands and feet were tied and it was reported that 15 sovereigns of gold jewellery were stolen from her house. That was in February 2012 and the incident had sent shockwaves in Madipakkam and nearby Ullagaram and Puzhuthivakkam. Three years have passed and the assailant is still at large.
"More than the fear that women alone at home are being targeted, it is the thought that the murderer is still out there and anyone could be his next victim is scary ," said Karpagam of Rajarajeshwari Nagar. "The police do patrol at night but what's the point if they keep their sirens on? It will only alert the culprits to escape."

Karpagam recalled the murder of a 51-year-old woman, who was alone at home in Karthikeyapuram, in 2007. "We are not sure if the case has been solved. But it is still fresh in our minds," she said.

Three months ago, 86-year-old N Rajalakshmi and her granddaughter V Annapoorni, 35, were murdered in their house at Pallikaranai. Twenty-five sovereigns of gold ornaments were missing. There has been no breakthrough in the investigation.

Residents of Madipakkam and Pallikaranai want policemen to intensify patrolling during the day and to keep a protective eye on elderly people alone at home. "At least one elderly person is forced to stay alone at home during the day because their children go off to work. It would be better if a beat constable has a list of the elderly and keep a watch on them between 11am and 4pm," said Bashyam of Kalaimagar Nagar near Madipakkam.

Joint commissioner of police A Arun said they have teams exclusively for afternoon patrolling."We have a proper system in place but we have to make it more effective," he said. "We have a separate team headed by an assistant commissioner."

Criminals find lonely elders a soft target - The Times of India
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