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Robbery, bag ordeal for train passengers

A robbery on a running train and failure to remove an unidentified bag from another one have punched holes in the tall claims of safety by railway security agencies.

Criminals robbed the passengers of a three-tier AC coach on the running 18182 Down Tata-Chhapra Express between Mankattha and Lakhisarai stations on the Eastern Railway’s Patna-Howrah main section around 10.40pm.

A few passengers managed to inform reporters in Ranchi about the incident, who, in turn, passed on the message to their peers in Jamui and Jhajha and Jhajha GRP officers got to know around 12.08am.

Monoj Sharma, the travelling ticket examiner, lost Rs 1,400 and his cellphone, when coach attendant Javier unlocked the compartment door hearing knocks. “More than 15 armed youths barged in and robbed ornaments, cash and mobiles from passengers before pulling the emergency chain ahead of Lakhisarai station and vanishing into the dark,” said Sharma.

Thereafter, the train travelled over 60km from Lakhisarai to Jhajha in two hours, passing Kiul, which has a GRP police station and an RPF post and another GRP outpost and an RPF post at Jamui station as well but not a single personnel came forward to help the victims.

Deputy superintendent of railway police, Kiul, Arun Kumar Dubey, said the GRP either at Kiul or Jamui did have any idea about the incident in the absence of complaints.

In the second incident, passengers of compartment S-13 of 12332 Down Jammu Tawi-Howrah Himgiri Express had a scary journey from Patna to Jhajha on Wednesday.

TTE Sunil Choudhary told reporters: “Some passengers informed me about an unidentified bag below berth 60-62 in S-13 at Patna station around 5.40am. I repeatedly alerted the GRP, RPF and the train guard but the GRP finally came at Jhajha around 11.15am and removed the bag.”

B.N. Jha, acting station house officer, Jhajha GRP police station, said the bag contained clothes and no explosive.