On train, beware of any drink offered by a fellow traveller

More and more train passengers are being given drugged drinks and robbed

Repeated efforts to curb incidents of railway passengers being administered poisonous drugs don’t seem to be working too well. On April 2, passengers of Punjab Mail were shocked when seven of their co-passengers did not wake up from sleep at the Kalyan station. The seven passengers were admitted to Rukmanidevi Government Hospital. They were robbed of cash and ornaments.

All seven have been discharged. According to SC Parhi, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner of RPF (CR), “Most of these passengers had drinking water after food which was brought by a co- passenger at Khandwa. It seems something poisonous had been added to the water. Most of these incidents are taking place in Madhya Pradesh and the victims are looted in Mumbai.”

On February 5, 2009, on the same train, Saransh Bharadwaj of Chote Miyan laughter show fame was coming from Gwalior with his father, Ravi Brij Ratan Bharadwaj, to participate in the grand finale of the show in Mumbai. As the train reached Kalyan station he found that his father was unconscious. His sister received them at the Dadar station and he was admitted to a private hospital in Goregaon. His wife told the police that after a co-passenger offered tea at Khandwa he became unconscious. Rs 5,000 was missing from Bharadwaj’s pocket.

These cases have been lodged under sections 328 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code and have been transferred to the Khandwa railway police. Vasant Koregaonkar, Deputy Commissioner of Railway Police (CR) said, “These gangs commit a crime in one state and then run to some other state. We have formed a team to undertake a survey all over India. This will include the number of cases detected, number of those in jail or acquitted. After this we will take further steps.”