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Train theft axe on agency

The railways has suspended the licence of the agency in charge of the pantry service on Himgiri Express a day after passengers of an AC three-tier coach complained of being robbed early on Wednesday.

The agency director has been asked to meet railway officials in Delhi with the names and addresses of all 12 persons on pantry duty on the train on Wednesday.

“The inquiry team will question the personnel. If anyone is found guilty, the agency may be blacklisted. As of now, the licence has been temporarily cancelled,” said an official.

Three passengers of the Calcutta-bound Jammu-Howrah Himgiri Express had lodged a complaint with the Howrah GRP on Wednesday afternoon alleging that a group of pantry personnel had stolen Rs 21,000, garments, documents and mobile phones from their bags early on Wednesday. A passenger has claimed to have seen two of the pantry employees fiddle with their bags around 2.30am, shortly before the theft came to light.

Based on the complaint, two pantry employees — Asish Prasad Jaiswal, 26, and Hareram Poddar, 32 — were arrested at Howrah station on Wednesday afternoon.

“The two stolen mobile phones are switched off. The moment the phones are switched on we will try to track down the location,” said an officer.

Arrested

Mohammad Ali, 30, was arrested near the north gate of Victoria Memorial on Wednesday morning and fake Indian currency notes of Rs 50,000 were seized from him. Police said Ali was carrying a Dubai driving licence, and an Indian passport and another issued by an Arab country. “We are trying to find out whether he has links with any terror outfit,” said an officer.

Remand

The judicial remand of Soumyadip Banerjee, 33, arrested on Sunday for allegedly running over and killing a woman and injuring four others, was reduced from 14 to five days because of his mother’s illness.