Delhi: One arrested for snatching handbag of PM Modi’s niece near Civil Lines

Police said that Noni (right) was apprehended thrice when he was a juvenile.

Delhi Police on Sunday arrested one of the two persons accused of allegedly snatching the handbag of Damyanti Modi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s niece, from a moving auto in North Delhi’s Civil Lines area. Damyanti Modi is PM Narendra Modi’s brother Prahlad Modi’s daughter.

Confirming the arrest, Delhi Commissioner of Police (Central) said Gaurav alias Noni (21), a resident of Sadar Bazaar, was held from his mother-in-law's house in Sonepat City. Several documents and cash were also seized from his possession.

Police also seized the scooter that was used for the crime from the accused's aunt's place in Sultanpuri. Police said that Noni was apprehended thrice when he was a juvenile.

The snatching took place around 7 am on Saturday when Damyanti, her husband and their two daughters reached Shree Delhi Gujarati Samaj in Civil Lines from Delhi Junction Railway Station.

Briefing reporters on the arrest, Monika Bharadwaj, DCP, North said the men had followed Damyanti for a kilometre, before snatching her handbag from the moving auto near Shree Delhi Gujarati Samaj in Civil Lines.

Several teams of Delhi Police are conducting raids in Rohtak to arrest his associate, Badal who lives in Sultanpuri.

“The accused weren't wearing helmets at the time of the incident. Also, there were no traffic policemen in the area. The men managed to escape without helmets from Sadar Bazaar to their hiding place,” Bharadwaj said.

Recalling the events, Damyanti on Saturday said, “We had just reached Gujarati Samaj and were outside the gate. We were offloading the luggage and I was still sitting inside the auto with the handbag on my lap. Suddenly two men on a scooter came from one side, snatched it and zipped away."

The 40-year-old woman said the handbag had two mobile phones, around Rs 60,000 in cash, Aadhaar cards of the family and debit and credit cards. “I didn’t resist as I feared I’ll hurt myself. I can’t recall if they were wearing helmets or not, it all happened so suddenly,” she said.

Following the incident, a case under IPC sections 356 (assault or criminal force in an attempt to commit theft) and 379 (theft) was registered at Civil Lines police station. The Crime Branch and Special Cell were also deployed on the case.

Damyanti and her family are based in Surat and have been travelling since October 4. “We came to Delhi-NCR, then went to Amritsar and Dharamshala, and returned to Delhi Saturday morning. Since the flight back to Surat was at 4 pm, we decided to rest at Gujarati Samaj till then,” she said.

(With ENS inputs)