The railway police arrested a 20-year-old ragpicker, who has been involved in several attacks on women commuters in long distance trains. The railway police had been on the lookout for him for four months.
Nikhil Naugandas was arrested at Mumbai Central railway station on Sunday morning. A knife was seized from him.
Ten years ago, Naugandas fled from his Jabalpur residence after his parents scolded him for studies. “Nikhil does not even know whether his parents are still alive. He stays at the Juhu slums and earns about Rs 300 a day by begging and rack picking,” Qaisar Khalid deputy commissioner of police, Government Railway Police (GRP) told Hindustan Times.
“The accused was trying to steal the luggage of a passenger (who was asleep) when the GRP was conducting a surprise combing operation,” said an officer.
The police found Naugandas’s face similar to the sketch of the suspect (who was involved in four incidents of attacks on women commuters in trains). “To double check, the GRP called one of the female victims who immediately identified him,” the officer added. “Going by the past offences, we observed that initially the accused operated in Central Railways and later shifted to the Western side. We then increased police presence on the Western line,” said an officer.
The GRP said that for five months Naugandas would travel to Kalyan.
“Since all long distance trains halt at Kalyan, Naugandas would enter ladies coaches that were sparsely occupied and wait till only one commuter was left,” Khalid said.
“He would close all the four doors, then accost the female commuter and rob her. He would hide the stolen booty inside a sack, throw it out of the train, jump off from the opposite end (towards the tracks) and later collect the sack,” added Khalid.