Gang used 2-rupee coins to stop and rob trains, struck 6 times this year
Greater Noida: Two members of a gang that claimed it forced trains to stop by planting 2-rupee coins between joints of railway tracks that turned signals red and then robbed commuters at gunpoint in rural areas of Greater Noida, Dadri and Bulandshahr were nabbed by a joint police and Railway Protection Force team on Monday.
Rajan Kumar (22) and Dinesh Kumar (23), residents of Jahangirabad in Bulandshar, are believed to be part of a four-member gang whose two other members are absconding. The police were chasing the suspects for almost a month and their luck ran out when Rajan was caught on CCTV camera planting coins at night near Dadri railway station two weeks ago.
The two have admitted to robbing passengers in six trains so far, police said. Several train robberies have been reported since the beginning of the year in the same region. Rajan, who planted the coins, told interrogators he didn’t have a full understanding of how it worked but he had been successful whenever he tried it. He said the two absconding accomplices were are of the technical side. The coin would typically be placed in the wedge where tracks are joined a minute or so before a train was to pass by.
This is not the first time such a trick has been tried. Earlier this year, robbers used a one-rupee coin to stop a Rajdhani on the UP-Bihar border. The railways build circuits on tracks near signals to make them turn green or red. The wedge between two pieces of me- tal is filled with insulating material (like rubber), which acts as a circuit breaker when the signal is to be turned green. But when a coin is placed, it acts as a conductor and keeps the circuit intact, turning a signal red again.
A spokesperson for Northern Railways said the railway system wasn’t so vulnerable that a gang could manipulate signals just with coins. “We feel the suspects may have tampered with cables and wires to manipulate signals. We will investigate the matter and take suitable action.”
Amit Kumar Shrivastava, circle officer, Greater Noida I, said that police and RPF had received complaints of robbery and snatching on trains between Bodaki and Dadri stations.
Shrivastava said police had identified vulnerable spots betwe- en the two stations and installed CCTV cameras there. “On October 26 night, one camera captured Rajan Kumar near the tracks. He was seen talking on phone and swiftly planting two coins in a joint of the railway track. He was also carrying a country-made revolver,” he said. The two, along with Sumit (25) and Robin (24), who are absconding, robbed valuables from commuters after forcing a train to stop that day.
RB Singh, sub-inspector, RPF, Dadri, said that after the robbery, the police scanned the footage concerned, formed teams and launched an investigation. They also started scanning dump data of mobile phones functional at the spot at the time of the robbery. The teams of Surajpur police and RPF finally arrested Rajan and Dinesh from Tilapta roundabout in Greater Noida.