Staff Reporter

VIJAYAWADA: A prolonged search by the railway police of three states for a notorious offender came to an end with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) catching 35-year-old Raghavan Sadasiva Reddy of Pallakullai village in Gudiattam taluq of Vellore district in Tamil Nadu. Reddy was arrested by the GRP at Kothapet in one-town on Friday, and the police seized gold jewellery weighing 400 grams, estimated to cost about Rs. 3 lakhs, from him.

Reddy, who worked as a constable in the Tamil Nadu Special Police, was removed from service in 1999 following charges of committing robberies. GRP Deputy Superintendent of Police B. Vijay Kumar, at a press conference on Friday, charged Reddy with robbing women passengers travelling in ladies’ coaches in moving trains in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka of their jewellery.

Modus operandi

He used to buy a ticket and board a train between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. before gaining entry into the ladies’ coach, where he used to threaten women passengers with a knife and take away their jewellery, Mr. Vijay Kumar said. In the process, Reddy would injure a couple of passengers with his knife to force other women to give away their jewellery. Reddy was charged with committing 11 such offences in three states, including five offences in the Vijayawada division of the South Central Railway.

He was first caught by the RPF personnel between Chagallu and Nidadavole stations on June 30, when a team of RPF officials attended a monthly crime review meeting in Rajahmundry and were on their way to Vijayawada by Ratnachal express.

When the train had a sudden halt between the two stations, the officials grew suspicious and got down from the train. They saw a man running in the adjacent farm fields and chased him immediately.

With the help of local farmers, they caught him and seized a knife and gold jewellery estimated to cost about Rs. 1 lakh from him.

They handed over him to the GRP at Nidadavole, where the GRP staff registered the statements of woman passengers injured by Reddy in the moving train.

As Reddy sustained injuries in the scuffle with the RPF men, he was admitted to the Government hospital in Nidadavole, from where he escaped while undergoing treatment. Mr. Kumar said they were on the job of recovering the remaining booty.