The sorrow of Pradeep Kumar, an employee of a Mumbai-based factory, of losing a gift meant for his wife turned into joy within an hour after he got it back because of quick police action at Dehri-on-Sone, around 165km south-west of Patna.
A resident of Palamus Chattarpur police station area in Jharkhand, Kumar alighted from Jodhpur Express at Dehri-on-Sone railway station in Rohtas district on Tuesday midnight. Soon after, he proceeded towards the bus stop for going to his home in Jharkhand, around 40km from Dehri-on Sone.
On his way to the bus stop, a dozen armed men intercepted him. Kumar had no option but to part with Rs 30,000 and other valuables, including the gold chain he bought for his wife.
The dream to gift the chain to his wife on the occasion of their marriage anniversary shattered, Kumar decided to report the matter to a police patrol car parked on Station Road. By the time he informed the police, the robbers vanished from the spot. But the cops started a search for the criminals based on the information given by the victim. They asked Kumar to accompany them.
As luck would have it, Kumar identified one of the robbers near Jakkhibigha bridge, around 1km off the railway station. His interrogation led to recovery of the cash and jewellery and arrest of 12 other members of the gang involved in robbing train passengers at night. Two deshi kuttas (countrymade firearms) and two daggers were seized from their possession.
Rohtas superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said Rs 36,000 and jewellery worth about Rs 3 lakh were seized from the possession of the arrested criminals. Their targets were the railway passengers alighting from long-distance trains at Dehri-on-Sone railway station at night.
The 20-member gang was led by Khursheed Khan alias Tandwa, a resident of Saraiya village under Tilauthu police station in Rohtas district. The kingpin evaded arrest but his 13 associates were apprehended and forwarded to jail on Wednesday.
The gangsters have confessed to their involvement in several cases of loot and dacoity, particularly in areas under the jurisdiction of Dehri, Kargahar and Sasaram Town police stations, Maharaj added.
Raju Khan, Santosh Dom, Chotu and Ajay Kumar Soni were among the active members of the gang that used to operate primarily on Station Road.
Incidents like road robbery or train loot send a wrong message among the people. The arrest of the 13 members of the gang would bring down such crimes, an investigating officer said.