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Don't trust people easily: Railway cops

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
By A Staff Reporter

Despite knowing better, people tend to get friendly with fellow passengers in the spirit of the Indian Railways, where a berth neighbour is almost a companion in the wheely journey. However, this often tends to have a cascading effect with people getting drugged and robbed, as happened in the recent case solved by the Government Railway Police (GRP) of the Mumbai Division.

“People should be careful and not befriend and trust strangers so easily,” said Purushottam Karad, Deputy Commissioner of Police, GRP. He was addressing the media yesterday about two people who were nabbed after an investigation by the Kalyan Unit of GRP. The accused, Basarat Noor Mohammed (50) and Mohammed Firoz Mohammed Safi (35) were arrested from West Bengal.

According to the GRP, they used to drug passengers and loot them. During interrogation, the accused confessed to have been involved in at least seven such cases, with gold worth almost Rs 6 lakh having been recovered from their possession. “For the most part, they targeted people travelling alone,” said Karad, adding that at first they would befriend them and then offer them tea and biscuits laced with sedatives.

“People around would assume that the person had slept and would not realise the effect of the drugs,” he added. Chemical analysis reports of the drugs are awaited but the railway police suspects that an over-the-counter tablet was used. Further investigations are in progress, to check if there are more cases filed against the duo in other cities.

These theft incidents took place on express trains like Matsyagandha and Mahanagari over the last two years. The police tracked the accused with the help of informers and CCTV footage. The accused used to come to the city from West Bengal, where they worked at a mobile repair shop and stay at a Kalyan hotel while committing thefts. They are currently in judicial custody of 15 days.

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