New Delhi: The Connaught Place area of Delhi witnessed an early-morning drama as a group of Delhi Police chased down a group of criminals belonging to a chain-snatching racket. An encounter broke out as the suspects opened fire at the police team and the cops retaliated. Following this, there was a chase and three of the gang have been arrested, police said.

According to a TOI report, the suspects have been identified as Mohammad Ismail, Salim and Saud. The gang was involved in snatching chains, mobile phones. Their primary targets were the morning walkers of the CP area. Today also, they were planning to target some morning walkers.

The suspects were spotted by a police team near Shankar Market, after which the operation began.

The crackdown comes at a time when the capital has been witnessing a sudden spike in snatching events.

Recently, some unidentified miscreants snatched the mobile phone of a 51-year-old senior Air Force official on Thursday morning in Connaught Place. As per the police, the incident happened at 6 am in the morning when the official was cycling at Connaught Place. Just then, two unidentified motorcycle-borne people snatched his pouch which contained a One Plus 6 mobile phone and Rs 200.

It is suspected that this gang was involved in this snatching.

In another incident that took place a few weeks ago, two unidentified bike-borne miscreants snatched the purse of PM Narendra Modi’s niece in North Delhi’s Civil Lines. The robbery happened in the broad-daylight when Damayanti Ben Modi was getting down from an auto-rickshaw outside the gates of Gujarati Samaj Bhavan in Civil Lines. According to her, Rs 56,000 cash, two mobile phones and some important documents in the purse were snatched by the robbers.

About 4,762 cases of snatching have taken place in Delhi so far in 2019, as per a recent report. Around 20 cases of snatchings take place every day in Delhi, the report said.