CHENNAI: While Adyar, one of the city’s more posh localities, mostly witnesses mobile phone and chain snatching incidents, Kotturpuram, with 22 educational institutions under its ambit, has witnessed a spike in suicides among college students, say local police officials.

Assistant Commissioner D A Raveendran, at the Adyar Police Station, says that people in this locality, where real estate prices are anything between 7,400 – 20,600 per square feet, tend to have expensive phones, which they’re careless about. Hence, it is easy to snatch them even in broad daylight. He adds that incidents of chain-snatching are also commonly reported.

Quite recently, the Adyar police arrested a man named Ajith Kumar in connection with five incidents of phone-snatching in just three days. Upon investigation, as many as 15 phones were recovered from him, says ACP Raveendran.

However, in Kotturpuram Police Station, under the jurisdiction of which there are seven colleges/universities, including the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Anna University, reports of student suicides have risen, says Police Constable Vazhivittan.

In fact, he says that two suicide cases were reported in IIT Madras this month alone, one of which was just past Monday.

He blames the negative effects of film-viewing for the increase of petty crimes and disturbances by youngsters, particularly final year college students and some uneducated people of similar ages around Kotturpuram.

“Movies show that if you beat people up on the streets, if you’re rowdy, or if you beat up a policeman, you’re a hero.”

To combat this problem, the police hold seminars and awareness programmes in schools and colleges. Especially children in the NSS (National Service Scheme) and NCC (National Cadet Corps) are involved in a programme where they interact with traffic policemen and help in managing traffic for a day. “This teaches them to be law-abiding citizens since they see the amount of work that goes into law enforcement.”

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