More than 35 armed robbers stormed into the Kolkata-Delhi Lal Quila Express on Friday morning and robbed the passengers of cash, goods and jewellery worth about Rs 5 lakh.
The incident, in which 35 passengers, including a GRP jawan, were injured, took place near Bhalui, a small halt in Bihar's Lakhisarai district, 150 km southeast of Patna.
Police officials said four robbers boarded the train a few stations before Bhalui and stopped the train at about 4.30 am by pulling the alarm chain.
More than 30 robbers then boarded and tried to open the door of the only air-conditioned coach in the train.
When the passengers refused to open the door, they smashed the windowpanes, entered and started looting the occupants at gunpoint.
Passengers in other coaches, many of them kanwariyas (devotees of Lord Shiva), who refused to part with their belongings — such as cash, mobile phones, watches and jewellery — were hit with rifle and pistol butts. The robbers also ripped the clothes of two Patna-bound sisters who refused to part with their jewellery.
Only four or five unarmed GRP men were present on the train. When one of them resisted, the robbers shot and critically wounded him. They also shot a kanwariya.
Additional Director General of Police (Rail) Shafi Alam said: "An operation has been launched by the GRP along with the local police."
"Only 15 per cent (of the 275 trains that pass through this area everyday) have (armed) Railway Protection Force personnel on them," a police officer said.