Train robberies are something we tend to associate with old movies about dacoits. However, the fact is that such incidents still continue to happen in our country with alarming regularity
Yesterday, passengers of the Mumbai to Delhi August Kranti Rajdhani Express were in for a rude shock when robbers entered the train and stole around Rs 15 lakh rupees from them.
The way the entire robbery was carried out raises some serious questions about security in Indian trains
Drugged and robbed
The August Kranti Rajdhani Express runs between Mumbai and Delhi everyday. Since it’s one of India’s high profile trains, the Rajdhani also tends to have several passengers who are MPs, ministers, senior government officials, etc., traveling on it.
When the train reached Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh around 2am, a bunch of unidentified robbers barged into the train and robbed the belongings of all passengers in 7 compartments.
Shockingly, all passengers were soundly asleep when this incident took place which indicates that they could have been drugged. On waking up, the passengers found that all their belongings had been stolen and the empty bags had been dumped into the train toilets.
The incident happened in 7 compartments of the train which as 3-tier and 2-tier AC classes. The passengers realized that they’d been robbed when the train was traveling between Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh to Kota in Rajasthan.
The passengers have also alleged in their complaint that some members of the rail staff might also be involved. This allegation arises from the fact that it’d be impossible to drug all passengers across 7 compartments without the knowledge of the railway staff on the train.
What is being done?
The Railway Ministry has already ordered an enquiry into the incident and the security staff that were on the train are being investigated. Meanwhile, the passengers have also filed an FIR in New Delhi where the missing items reported include electronic devices, cell phones, and even cash.
This incident should be treated with utmost seriousness and urgency by the Railway Ministry. The August Kranti Rajdhani was traveling between the financial capital Mumbai to the national capital New Delhi. On a route as busy as this, it is shocking to hear that a robbery of this nature took place.
The government must ensure that there must be absolutely no compromise on the security and safety of passengers traveling on long distance trains. The failure of the Railway Police Force guards traveling on this train in preventing this robbery must also be looked into.
Similarly, it is also important for passengers to observe some basic precaution while traveling on long distance train. Some of these are:
- Do not accept any food item given by strangers. There is always a chance that the food item might be laced with sedatives. After drugging you, robbers find it very easy to steal your belongings while remaining undetected
- Do not carry expensive and unnecessary valuables with you on trains. This especially applies to items like jewelry and large quantities of cash. If you absolutely need to carry some valuables, ensure that you keep them with you constantly rather than leaving them in your bags
- Always keep your bags locked and securely stowed. Small padlocks or digital locks make it difficult for anyone to open your bag even if you aren’t looking. Moreover, locking the bag to your seat with a chain-lock will make it impossible for anyone to steal it
- Always keep an eye on your luggage. Even on long distance journeys, keep checking regularly where your bags are kept and whether they have been tampered.
- If you’re traveling with a large group, take turns in staying away during the night. For example if you’re 5 people traveling together, each person can stay up for 1 hour during the night keeping a watch on valuables. Since most robberies happen at night when passengers are asleep, keeping a watch is the best way to deter potential robbers
- Always keep the numbers of the Railway Police Control Room and other emergency numbers handy. In case you or one of your fellow passengers is robbed, its important to report the crime immediately. Thats because a longer delay allows enough time for the robbers to escape. A timely complaint with all the details can greatly help the police in nabbing any robbers
Indian Railways are one of the largest train networks in the world. Millions of people take trains in India everyday to travel around this vast country of ours. Therefore, the security of passengers on a train should be a matter of utmost priority and importance for the railway authorities.
We hope that the perpetrators of this robbery are arrested and brought to justice real soon. Meanwhile, if we follow some of the basic precautions listed above, we can keep ourselves protected from such incidents.