Monday, 30th October 2017

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Uncles from Bengal rob Andhra trains

Eight arrested aged between 52 and 62

  • Published 14.02.20, 1:27 AM
  • Updated 14.02.20, 1:27 AM
  • a min read
The accused, behind the cops The Telegraph picture

Eight men in their 50s and 60s were arrested in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday in connection with robberies on express trains between Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam.

An RPF officer in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, said the men, who hail from Goboradanga, Basirhat and Bongaon in North 24-Parganas, had been on the prowl for at least three months. Gold ornaments weighing around 200g have been seized from them.

Cops from the southern city have contacted police in Bengal and a team will visit Calcutta to collect more information about the arrested.

Sushanta Roy, Sribas Das, Dinu Biswas, Tapan Bhattacharjee, Robi Sen, Bhola Mondal, Joy Biswas and Samir Mistry have apparently admitted to the crime.

Bhattacharjee and Sen are 62-year-olds, while the rest are aged between 52 and 58, the RPF officer said.

Following preliminary interrogation of the accused, the police are looking for Ganesh Sarkar, a resident of Basirhat and alleged leader of the team.

The RPF said there had been multiple complaints from passengers over the past few months that their valuables had been snatched or stolen on express trains running along the east coast.

On Wednesday, a woman lodged a complaint with the RPF in Visakhapatnam saying someone had snatched her gold chain while she was asleep between Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam.

She said she woke up to find an elderly person seated beside her.

“We realised the snatcher had got off at Visakhapatnam, the last stop. So did the complainant,” another RPF officer said.

“We started scanning CCTV footage and found a group of elderly men teaming up before leaving the station.”

Each of these men would buy a ticket to Visakhapatnam and board sleeper-class coaches of express trains from Bhubaneswar.

They would recce the train to spot passengers with gold jewellery, the officer said.

At times, if a coach was empty some would swap berths to get closer to their target. The robbery occurred at night when most passengers would be asleep, he said.

“No passenger would usually suspect an elderly person to be a snatcher or robber. We have learnt some of the arrested were active on trains in the Sealdah division,” the officer said.