It is an exceptionally warm September, but onboard the Himalayan Queen's non air-conditioned general bogey, it was a very chilling ride.
On Sunday night, armed men stormed the Kalka Delhi-bound express train, brandished knives and country-made pistols and looted passengers at gunpoint in Narela of northwest Delhi, police said.
"Five armed men had boarded the train from Sonepat in Haryana. As soon as the train entered the Delhi border near Narela, the robbers took out knives and revolver and started looting the passengers," said Bhairon Singh, additional deputy commissioner of police (railways).
"They robbed everything they could lay their hands on," said Singh. A passenger identified as Shashikant Jha, who was returning from Sonepat after visiting his sister, told the police that the men did not even spare women and were using foul, abusive language.
"The women and other passengers were so terrified that they simply handed over their belongings to them," said the officer.
According to police, all the accused were between 25-30 years of age, armed and unmasked.
Police said no Railways Protection Force (RPF) jawans were present in the bogey at the time of the incident. As the general bogey is not interconnected with the rest of the train, the RPF jawans who may have been on patrolling duty in other bogeys could not have reached the place of crime as the robbery took place in a moving train.
Police said after the robbery, the accused pulled the chain of the train and fled away once it halted.
Jha was the one who made a call to the police control room (PCR) around 9.50 pm.
As the train was scheduled for Old Delhi railway station it did not stop at Narela.
"We received a call from the PCR and stopped the train at Subzi Mandi railway station. We have registered a case under relevant sections on his complaint," said the officer.
Police said though they have not arrested anyone yet, they have specific clues into the case.
Police said they were trying to make sketches of the accused with the help of the version given by the passengers.