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Robbers strike Delhi-Patna Rajdhani Express, steal jewellery, cash worth lakhs

The robbery took place between UP’s Mughalsarai and Buxar (Bihar) stations of the East Central Railway (ECR) when the passengers were asleep.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2017 11:06 IST
Avinash Kumar
Avinash Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
burglary,theft in train,Rajdhani Express
Passengers argue with a GRP cop at Patna junction after their belongings were stolen on the 12310 New Delhi-Patna Rajdhani Express in UP on Sunday. (Arun Abhi/HT photo)

PATNA Robbers targeted the New Delhi-Patna bound (12310) Rajdhani Express and decamped with cash and jewellery worth lakh of rupees in the wee hours of Sunday.

The incident took place between Mughalsarai (Uttar Pradesh) and Buxar (Bihar) stations, under the East Central Railway (ECR).

Six members of an escort team, including an assistant sub-inspector and five constables, have been suspended. The police are quizzing a coach attendant after passengers suspected involvement of some railway staff behind the incident as the doors of coaches were open.

Police said the robbers struck in coaches A4, B7 and B8, picking up whatever they could lay their hands on in the dark. Several passengers claimed that they lost their jewellery, cash, laptop, mobile phones and other valuables. Complaints have been registered with the Government Railway Police (GRP), Patna.

The incident has raised serious questions about security in the country’s premier. In a tweet, railway minister Suresh Prabhu asked the chairman railway board to get in touch with the Bihar chief secretary. He also asked the director-general of the railway protection force (RPF) to talk to the director general of police, Bihar, to take prompt and stern action in the case.

S Tyagi, a defence personnel from Kanpur, said: “The total loss could be as high as Rs 20 lakh”. He said that he lost valuables worth Rs 5,000 but none of the passengers in the three coaches realised when the robbers struck. The train ticket examiner (TTE) and coach attendant was asleep next to him, added Tyagi.

Anand Kumar, another passenger, suspected the involvement of railway or catering staff in the incident. He said, “It might have been anyone but it could have been the railway staff or the catering staff. I lost my mobile phone but there were others who lost valuables worth lakhs of rupees.”

Some passengers said the incident occurred between 3am and 4.30am but they discovered about the burglary only when they woke up before reaching Patna on Sunday morning.

A railway employee of Danapur division also travelling in the train said that several unreserved passengers were travelling in the train with the connivance of coach attendants and other railway staff.

ECR chief public relations officer (CPRO) Arvind Kumar Razak told HT that the incident took place when the train stopped for want of signal clearance between Bhadaura and Gahmar railway stations (in Uttar Pradesh) between 3.29am and 3.53am on the Patna-Delhi main line. It is suspected that the burglars de-boarded there with small items.

Superintendent of railway police (SRP), Patna, Jitendra Kumar Mishra, said complaints had been registered and referred to Allahabad superintendent of railway police for further action. He said Buxar GRP and RPF officials rushed to the spot after the incident. He did not deny the possibility of any railway employee being involved in the incident.

“I do not completely deny the allegations, but experience says criminal gangs are active on the Mughalsarai-Buxar stretch,” Mishra signed off.

(With inputs from Prashant Ranjan in Ara)

First Published: Apr 09, 2017 10:57 IST