Mumbai railway police form special teams to nab phone robbers from stations

On an average, more than 100 phones are stolen daily from railway stations in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.

mumbai Updated: Mar 28, 2018 01:06 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times

The Government Railway Police and the Railway Police Force have formed special teams to nab mobile robbers on suburban trains.

On an average, more than 100 phones are stolen daily from railway stations in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.

Personnel with theses teams called Passenger Luggage Theft (PLT) will be in plainclothes. Each of the 24 railway police stations has one PLT team.

They will focus on Dadar-Kurla and Dadar-Bandra routes, from where more than seven mobile thieves were arrested in the past three days.

The formation of teams comes after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis recently told the assembly that 202 fatka cases were registered in 2017 in Mumbai. Aimed to rob passengers of their mobile phones, fatka refers to a rap on passengers standing on the footboard. Each PLT team has two assistant police inspectors and four constables, including two women. The GRP officers said stations between Dadar and Kurla on the central line, and Dadar and Bandra on the western line are the most vulnerable.

“There are slum pockets and mangroves near these stations. They provide a cover to fatka gang members,” said railway police commissioner Niket Kaushik.

In one of the three robbery cases registered in the past three days, Bandra GRP officials arrested two men with two mobile phones each. They were identified as Babu Shaikh alias Sunder, 22; and Shabaz Shiraz Shaikh alias Khujli, 20. “We have recovered mobile phones worth Rs61,740. They do not have any previous cases; however, they have confessed to have robbed more than 10 phones,” said Sunilkumar Jadhav, senior inspector of Bandra GRP.

Satish Menon, senior inspector of RPF (Dadar), said they had nabbed 21 thieves from areas between Parel and Matunga stations in the past three months.

He said the robbers were not record criminals. “Of the 21 robbers, only one woman is a repeat offender,” added Menon.

On Monday a PLT team stationed at Kurla station heard a commotion outside the ladies coach. The officers found that a woman had robbed a commuter of her a mobile phone, while she was alighting form the train.

The robber had continued her journey towards Matunga. The PLT team alerted the woman constables who were at Matunga station. They boarded the train going towards CSMT and arrested Sheela Swami Yadav, 22, and recovered two mobile phones from her,” added Menon.

First Published: Mar 28, 2018 01:06 IST