Tatanagar GRP has planned a plainclothes attack. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Six plainclothes teams of five police personnel each will be pressed from this week to keep a lookout for drug-and-rob gangs on selected trains under South Eastern Railway and Eastern Railway divisions.
A joint effort of the superintendent of railway police (SRP), Tatanagar, and Railway Protection Force, the teams will start work from this week, revealed Ajay Linda, Tatanagar SRP.
“The spate of drug-and-rob cases in trains has prompted this move,” said Linda. “For now, the teams will work in Kharagpur-Tatanagar-Rourkela and Tatanagar-Adra sections. If needed, they will go beyond their jurisdiction to carry out raids,” he added.
Linda said that the teams would travel in trains such as South Bihar Express, Tata-Chhapra Express and Tata-Barbil Passenger, which were regular haunts of the gangs.
Since January 2012, over two dozens of drug-and-rob cases have been reported in various railway police station areas under the jurisdiction of SRP, Tatanagar.
The railway police have also established that as many as five gangs operate in the Rourkela-Chakradharpur-Tatanagar-Kharagpur and Adra-Tatanagar-Kharagpur sections, two led by Suraj Mandal and Pradip Mandal.
On the immediate plan of action, the SRP said: “Of the six teams, two each will be posted in Tatanagar and Ranchi stations, while one each will be deputed at Hatia and Bokaro. The teams will cover all eight railway police stations and as many railway thana outposts under the jurisdiction of the SRP, Tatanagar.”
The railway police, in cooperation with Odisha and Bengal, have drawn up a list of 50 names and are in the process of getting matching photographs.
Once done, the list will also be put up at stations to alert passengers.
The gangs may be different but their modus operandi is the same.
First, members, posing as bona fide passengers, draw unsuspecting victims into conversation.
Then, drug-laced food — sweets, tea, biscuits or even so-called home-made tiffin are common baits — are offered to the victims as a friendly gesture. Once the victims become senseless, the execution of the robbery is fast and noiseless so as not to attract attention from other passengers or railway authorities.
Gang members need to exhibit a high degree of social skills to carry off the crime.
“This is why it is imperative that sleuths are not in uniform. Plainclothes teams will not be recognised by either gang members or their chosen victims. As a result, they can nab the crooks red-handed,” hoped the policeman.
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