The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Drugged and robbed on train

Siliguri, Dec. 29: Md Tajuddin lost all his belongings after he lost his senses while drinking a cup of tea on board the Kanchenjunga Express last night.

A resident of Chandni Chawk, New Delhi, Tajuddin, woke up this morning with a severe headache and realised that his luggage was missing. He somehow arrived at a hotel on Hill Cart Road and an employee there admitted him to Siliguri District Hospital. Tajuddin, who was travelling from Guwahati to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station, reportedly had a cup of tea from a hawker. “He is yet to regain his senses fully and is feeling nauseous,” said Pradip Sarkar, the superintendent of the hospital.

According to Sarkar, Tajuddin’s is not an isolated incident and in most cases, the swindlers use organophosphorous, a neuro-toxic compound. “This month alone, we treated some six to seven such persons. Sedatives like this might cause severe neurological problems and in case of an overdose, it can be fatal.”

Last Wednesday, B.N. Sharma and R.K. Singh, on way to Pune by the Delhi-bound down Saraighat Express, were drugged in a similar manner but one of the swindlers was caught by the co-passengers and handed over to the GRP. A case was registered in Alipurduar. Both were treated at the Siliguri district hospital.

M.S. Poonia, the superintendent of the railway police posted in Siliguri, said: “The trend has increased in recent times.” Sources in the GRP recounted another incident that occurred some 12 days ago at NJP. Gajendra Biswakarma (26), a resident of Nepal, was robbed of Rs 16,000 after he was drugged with tea.

According to Poonia, most of the swindlers are from Assam. “They play the trick before entering Bengal and then flee with the booty at stations located close to Assam. Last year, we netted five such gangs, all from Assam. This year, about nine or ten such cases have been registered at different GRP stations of north Bengal.”

The GRP, as a part of its awareness campaign, has approached the railways to set up close-circuit televisions at Alipurduar, Malda and NJP stations and for the screening of a film made on the issue, Poonia said.

Email This Page