The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Drug-&-loot gang in the net with triple arrests

Burdwan, Oct. 16: Two alleged kingpins of a gang involved in drugging and looting passengers on trains were arrested from Burdwan station today.

Government Railway Police (GRP) officials said Sayed Ali and Amir Ali had led a gang of looters in the Up Mithila Express on last night. The gangsters offered tea to a passenger, Kanai Prasad, from Bihar. He fell unconscious soon after drinking it and the gang decamped with his belongings.

Prasad was spotted by the police at Asansol and was taken to the sub-divisional hospital there. Officer-in-charge of Burdwan GRP Sangram Chowdhury said an inquiry was begun on the basis of the complaint lodged by Prasad.

Chowdhury said Sayed and Amir were from Canning in South 24-Parganas. A third member of the gang, Ram Peyare Chowbey, was arrested later. Biscuits and other edibles laced with drugs were recovered from him.

The police said on Tuesday, five members of a family, including three children, took ill on a train after eating food offered by a friendly fellow traveller. The family was returning home at Bauria in Howrah after spending the puja vacation in Bihar.

GRP officials said seven incidents of drugging and looting passengers have taken place in the past month. “Investigations revealed that the looters leave the trains at small stations near Burdwan,” said an officer. The railway had issued an alert last week to passengers saying they should not accept edibles from co-passengers.

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