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Cop feud hits train robbery probe

Jhajha (Jamui), Feb. 25: A tussle over the areas of jurisdiction in which the 13006 Amritsar-Howrah Mail was looted in the small hours of Tuesday has hampered investigations.

The robbery, which occurred on the train between Jhajha station in Jamui district and Jasidih in Jharkhand triggered a conflict over the area of jurisdiction between the Jamalpur superintendent of railway police (SRP) and the Dhanbad SRP. No FIR was lodged either by Jasidih Government Railway Police (under Dhanbad SRP) and Jhajha GRP (under Jamalpur SRP) till reports last came in. Throughout the day, the two SRPs kept blaming each other for shirking responsibilities.

Dhanbad SRP Prasant Karn said: “According to passengers, 15 criminals in the age group of 20 and 30 years, boarded the AC compartments, B1 and B2, as the train was pulling out of Jhajha station in Jamui on the Kiul-Asansol main section of Eastern Railway around 1.37am. Thereafter, the dacoits, armed with countrymade pistols and daggers, went on a looting spree in the two coaches on the running train for the next half-an-hour. They reportedly assaulted one Kamlesh Kumar Gupta of Calcutta and another woman while looting articles worth Rs 1 lakh from the passengers. Around 2.04am, the robbers cut the vacuum pipe of the B1 coach and alighted from the train at a spot between Lahavan and Tulsitard. When the train reached Jasidih station, which falls under our jurisdiction, Gupta lodged a formal complaint with the station manager.”

Putting across his point of argument, Karn said: “When the robbers stopped the train, the last compartment was near pole number 332/18, while the engine was at pole number 331/18. My area of jurisdiction starts from pole number 329/17, so the incident did not occur in my area. The criminals boarded the train and committed the crime in Bihar. So it is not my responsibility. How can I take up the case?”

Jamalpur SRP Amitav Das also claimed that the place of occurrence fell under the Dhanbad SRP’s jurisdiction, so Jhajha GRP had nothing to do with the case. Echoing Das, Jhajha GRP SHO Ambika Prasad said: “The incident occurred near pole number 318/16, which is under the jurisdiction of Jasidih GRP. From pole number 331/17-18, the jurisdiction of Jhajha GRP starts.”