The passengers of three air-conditioned coaches of Barbil-Howrah Janshatabdi Express were tonight looted of cash and valuables by armed dacoits at a Maoist-infested place on the border of West Bengal and Jharkhand.
South Eastern Railway sources said a five-member gang, most of them carrying firearms, of dacoits boarded the train as passengers and after commiting the robbery fled by pulling the emergency chain at Maoist-hit Kanimouli jungle between Chakulia station in Jharkhand and Gidhni station in West Bengal at around 6.30 pm.
Ornaments, cash and laptop sets from passengers travelling in coach numbers C-1, C-2 and C-3 were looted by the dacoits during a ten-minute attack, the sources said.
They said several passengers were manhandled when they refused to part with their valuables but no one was seriously injured.
According to eyewitnesses, four of the dacoits were carrying firearms while another was carrying a dagger.
When the train reached Kharagpur, the passengers staged demonstrations and lodged a complaint with the Government Railway Police.
After being detained at Kharagpur for about one hour, the train left for Howrah station at around 8.30 pm under the escort of an Assistant Security Commissioner and an Assistant Commercial Manager of SER.