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Six passengers drugged, robbed of valuables

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Falling prey: Chandrakanth Puranik, Taufiq and Anup Gopikumar, who were among the six passengers robbed of their valuables after drinking soft drinks laced with drugs, in Bangalore on Wednesday.
Falling prey: Chandrakanth Puranik, Taufiq and Anup Gopikumar, who were among the six passengers robbed of their valuables after drinking soft drinks laced with drugs, in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

The incident happened on board Udyan Express bound for Bangalore

BANGALORE: Six passengers of Udyan Express, bound for Bangalore from Mumbai, were drugged by two persons and robbed of cash, mobile phones and other valuables on Tuesday night.

Beat policemen found the six passengers lying indisposed in S-9 compartment after the train reached Bangalore City Station on Wednesday morning and shifted them to Victoria Hospital. The victims, all from Mumbai, have been identified as Chandrakanth Ananth Puranik (50), retired Deputy General Manager of Canara Bank; Anup (25) software engineer with Wipro; Taufiq Kamal Nagavkar (25); Ashok K. Prajapati (29); Rizwan Naseh (24) and Arvind (25).

Superintendent of Police (Railways) B. Shivakumar told The Hindu that all the victims were on their way to Bangalore from Mumbai and were travelling in the second class reserved compartment. The two robbers were in the same compartment and they too had got their berths reserved, Mr. Shivakumar said.

After the train left Yadgir railway station in Gulbarga district on Tuesday night, the two men offered soft drink tetra packs to the six fellow passengers. They told the six men that they got the soft drink packets from some people who were distributing them free at the railway station. After the six unsuspecting men consumed the drug-mixed soft drinks and fell asleep, the robbers made away with their valuables, the officer said.

Mr. Taufiq, who lost two mobile phones, said that one of the robbers introduced himself as Anees and told him that he was working in the Indian Army. “Anees told me that he was on his way to Bangalore to visit his brother who was also in the Indian Army. Around 9 p.m., he offered me the packet, which I initially refused. He, however, convinced me to drink and soon after that I fell asleep. When the train reached Bangalore, I was not feeling well and was unable to get up,” he said.

“As the victims are still in a state of shock and are indisposed, we are yet to ascertain the value of the stolen property and also the specific details of the incident,” Mr. Shivakumar said. Mr. Puranik, who is a diabetic, had only a few sips and thus his condition was better compared to the others, he said.

The City Railway police who took details of the two persons from the victims are in the process of releasing a sketch of the suspects.

Though the railway police have been holding programmes to create awareness among passengers to be cautious of such people, the public are still falling prey to such gangs. In regard to similar cases reported on trains earlier, the Railway police had detained four persons from Bihar, he said.

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