Train heist case: Escort cops were 3 coaches away from cash wagon

The great train robbery was discovered only after seven hours.

Chennai: Eight of the nine armed policemen, who were entrusted the job of protecting the cash wagon carrying Rs 342.7 crore in the Salem – Chennai express on the night of August 8, were reportedly sleeping in a coach, which was three compartments away. The escort team had two AK 47 guns, 2 pistols, 2 self-loading riffles and 2 incised guns, all with rounds. But the cops never had a chance to use them even as thieves managed to knock in a large hole on the roof of the money bogey three coaches away and took away Rs 5.75 crore. The great train robbery was discovered only seven hours after the train arrived at Egmore station on Tuesday 4.16 am.

Sources said the escort team’s head DSP Nagarajan was in A1 coach while the rest were in S1 coach. “If somebody had openly attacked the cash wagon and took out the money, how will the escort team be aware of it if they sleep in far away reserved coaches?” asked an officer, who was part of the investigation team probing the case.

Meanwhile, a source said the CB-CID, which had taken over the probe from railway police, has prepared a list of 30 people from the various wings of the Railways and the concerned banks, who were aware of the huge money transfer – for questioning. As many as 16 special teams have been formed by the CB-CID to speed up the probe. “One probe team is also grilling the policemen in the escort team. Among the questions asked: how many of you were drunk during the escort journey on Monday night?” the source said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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