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At 61, young enough for lesson in courage

- Youths snatch Rs 27000 barely 150m away from GRP post at station

Just a year away from retirement, a 61-year-old college employee fought a lost battle with six criminals less than half his age on Monday morning at Patna Sahib station when they tried to snatch Rs 27,000 from him barely 150m away from the Government Railway Police (GRP) post.

Ishwar Dayal Singh, the demonstrator of RPM College at Patna City, lost the cash but managed to cling on to one of the criminals with the help of some people on platform number one of the station. The rest of the five youths fled with Rs 27,000 — more than two months’ take-home salary for Singh.

The GRP has taken the youth — Jagganpur resident Kundan Kumar— in custody and lodged an FIR. But Kundan did not divulge anything substantial about his accomplices till the filing of this report.

A resident of road number 14 of Rajiv Nagar, Singh’s take-home salary is Rs 12,000 per month after provident fund and EMI deductions. Like everyday, he boarded the Buxar-Islampur Passenger train at Patna Junction on Monday for going to his workplace close to Patna Sahib station.

“Today (on Monday), I was carrying Rs 27, 000 with me for some personal work. The cash was in my pocket. A young man came and sat next to me when the train started from Patna Junction around 9.25am. He looked at me shiftily for some time but I ignored him. The problem started when the train stopped at Patna Sahib around 10am,” Singh told The Telegraph.

The moment Singh — a father of two sons — reached near the door of the train, at least five other youths surfaced. “All aged between 23 and 28, they blocked the door of the train. Despite my best efforts, I could not get down. An altercation ensued and the youth sitting next to me walked up to me. Wasting no time, he put one of his hands in my right pocket and took out the cash. Before I could react, he passed on the money to one of the youths who blocked my way. The five youths who stopped me from getting down the train fled immediately. I also got off and saw the youth who had taken out the cash from my pocket on the platform. I caught him by the waist. Sporting jeans and T-shirt, he was stronger than me. He started beating me up to free himself but I clung on to him. Some passengers rushed to my help and overpowered him. He was then taken to the GRP police station on the same platform,” Singh said.

Vijay Kumar, the Patna Sahib GRP station house officer, said an FIR had been lodged and Kundan, the accused, was being interrogated. When asked why the GRP did not come to the rescue of the elderly person, Vijay said: “The GRP station is on the eastern side of the platform and the cash was snatched on its western end.”


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