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Kalka duo drugged & robbed

Burdwan, Aug. 18: Two passengers on the Howrah-bound Kalka Mail were drugged and robbed of their belongings last night.

Government Railway Police (GRP) officers said an unidentified youth had befriended Rabi Kumar Singh, 25, and Santosh Lal Mahato, 21, before offering them drug-laced mango drinks and robbing them after they fell asleep.

The duo were taken to hospital by the GRP after being alerted by co-passengers when the train reached Burdwan around 7am today.

While Singh, a resident of Asansol’s Burnpur, has come to, Mahato, who hails from Khardah in North 24-Parganas, is yet to regain consciousness.

Singh, who complained that his baggage, laptop and cellphone had been stolen, was returning from Noida where he had gone for a job interview. He said he met Mahato, a worker at a cotton mill in Delhi, on the train and the two became friendly.

Singh said: “Mahato and I were chatting when a youth entered our reserved compartment and befriended us. When the train stopped at (Uttar Pradesh’s) Mughalsarai station, the three of us got down to buy biryani from a hawker on the platform. After having food, the youth offered us mango drinks. We did not suspect foul play as he also drank the beverage with us.”

Singh said that when he woke up, he found himself in Burdwan Medical College and Hospital.

Mohammad Noor Ali, the GRP circle inspector in Burdwan, said the three packs of the mango drink had been found from the compartment and would be sent for tests.

On June 20 and July 2, ten passengers on two Howrah-bound Kalka Mails were robbed after being offered drug-laced mango drinks. On both occasions, the robbers had boarded the train from Mughalsarai.

At least 14 train robberies have been reported in the Howrah and Asansol divisions of Eastern Railway between April 1 and July 10 this year.

Unconscious on train

Three passengers were found unconscious on the Amritsar-bound Howrah-Amritsar Express near Burdwan today. Police said the trio — who could be from Bihar —had probably been drugged and robbed.

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