A week after the armed dacoity on the Patna-bound Patliputra Express between Kalyan and Khardi stations took place, the Government Railway Police (GRP) have arrested six members of a gang, including its leader. One of the accused, however, is still on the run, said GRP officials.
Days prior to this incident, the gang had committed a similar robbery in Kushinagar Express, another Bihar-bound train. However, the passengers didn’t register a complaint. The gang’s leader Satish Baludonde alias Satya, 20, a resident of Igatpuri, had orchestrated the robbery after being released from prison a couple of months back.
A Kalyan GRP team headed by senior inspector Datta Pable arrested Baludonde, Shahbaz Shaikh, 22, a Kalyan resident, Saddam Hussain Shaikh, 20, an Ambarnath resident, Sachin Mhasne, 18, a Talegaon resident, Ravindra Dhongade alias Ravya, 18, and Sagar Telam, 22, both Kasara residents.
Niket Kaushik, GRP commissioner, said, “At least five teams, including two of the railway crime branch, were probing the case. The accused were identified with the help of a tip-off and the details of the preliminary investigation.”
According to officials, most of the accused had worked on railway stations as porters and labourers and had boarded outstation trains to return home. This helped them understand aspects like the duration of a train halting at a station, speed limits on the way and the presence of security personnel on the train.
Rupali Ambure, deputy commissioner of police, Central Railway, said, “On the night of December 20, the accused boarded the train from Kalyan station and kept a watch on passengers in the general coach next to the engine. They were armed with knives and knuckle punch and robbed passengers before the train reached Khardi station [near Kasara].”
The accused then pulled the emergency chain and after the train halted, they fled on the highway, parallel to the railway tracks.
After their arrest, the GRP personnel have recovered 10 robbed mobile phones worth Rs70,000 and arms used in the crime. The accused have been booked for robbery and remanded in police custody for further investigation.