Gang used 2-ru­pee coins to stop and rob trains, struck 6 times this year

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - @times­

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.

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