The Kurla railway police said the theft of 75 cartridges and three signalling rockets that were part of an army consignment from the Guwahati Express on Friday was the handiwork of railway thieves and not of Naxalites or terrorists.
The consignment was stolen from the luggage compartment of 5646 Guwahati Express that runs between Guwahati and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), passing through six states – Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, UP, MP and Maharashtra.
The theft was reportedly discovered on Friday around 10.30 pm when train reached LTT. Five army jawans, in the military compartment, were taking the consignment to the army laboratory in Pune.
“If it were the work of a terrorist, they would not have left the fuse wires as they are useful to them,” Dilip Gore, senior inspector of the Kurla GRP told Hindustan Times adding that Naxalites could not be involved as they would attack and snatch and not commit theft.
The police have questioned the five jawans and have ruled out their involvement. They are inquiring the guard and other railway staff. The investigators will conduct inquiries at all the 23 stations where the train halts between Guwahati and LTT. “Our teams have been sent to investigate all the stations. We will also inquire all the places where luggage was loaded or unloaded while coming from Guwahati,” added Gore.
“The modus operandi is similar to past incidents in the luggage compartments of mail or express trains. In a similar incident last year, thieves had stolen a consignment of mobile handsets from a Delhi-Panvel express train,” said an officer.
The train had left Guwahati at 4.45 pm on Wednesday and reached LTT at 10.30 pm on Friday.
“The thieves entered through the toilet of the general compartment by breaking the wooden partition. The luggage compartment was next to the motorman’s cabin,” the officer added.