Jamshedpur : Several passengers fell victim to drug and loot gang on Howrah-bound Geetanjali Express between Nagpur and Bilaspur on the wee hours of Monday.
A the Tatanaar Railway Station the train reached and the victims were rescused by government railway police, Tatanagar and then taken to the Tatanagar Railway Hospital at Khasmahal from where they were rushed to MGM Medical College and Hospital .
Suman Mukherjee, one of the vicims, a resident of Sonari in the steel city was found lying unconscious as the train reached Tatanagar station at 8.30 am.
Those who have been drugged were identified as Mrityunjay Mallik, Bubun Mera, Pius Sarkar, Tapas, Mohan, Hameed Mirza, Madhav, Suman Mukherjee and Rahul Dhulai, all belonging to the age-group of 22-25.
The Mumbai bound seems to be a favourite among the criminals as it passes the stretch in which they operate in the late evening. The gangs normally operate in the unreserved compartments, where passengers are slightly less aware of the perils of accepting food from strangers.
Concerned over the increasing number of drugging and looting incidents in trains, the superintendent railway police (SRP) Tatanagar has, in collaboration of the Railway Protection Force, set up six anti-drugging teams in its jurisdiction.
Officials said that the anti-drugging teams will be working in Kharagpur-Tatanagar-Rourkela section and Tatanagar-Adra section, and if required, the teams will go beyond their jurisdiction in carrying out raids and investigation into the cases of drugging and looting.
They pointed out that each of the teams is comprised of five policemen in civil dress and the team members will be travelling in the trains like South Bihar Express and Tata-Chhapra Express in guise of passengers so that they may nab the gang of druggist red-handed.
Officials said that several drives have been taken up to spread awareness and posters have been put up at all major stations, urging passengers not to accept food or drinks from unknown people. In spite of this, passengers are continuing to fall prey to the organised gangs.
“In the last few years, several arrests have been made, primarily in the Chakradharpur Division. As per our investigation the gangs used to operate along the Bengal-Jharkhand border as the police had jurisdiction problems.
We have already got in touch with security officials GRP to evolve a strategy,” a senior RPF official said.
Notably, the several gangs of drugging operate in the trains originating from Tatanagar station. Members of the drugging gang travel in trains in the guise of passengers and even in the reserved compartment, and befriend with the co-passengers.
After a point of time, they offer drugged sweats or biscuits and sometimes tea to their co-passengers, who lose their sense after consuming the food. As soon as the victims fall unconscious, the criminals decamp with the valuables and cash.