Railway Cops hunt for man who stole Escalator Plates at Kalyan

Kalyan Jn (KYN):  Teams from three agencies are looking for the miscreant who made away with the plates worth Rs 1.3 lakh from inside the Kalyan railway station.

Three police agencies are looking for a miscreant who stole the floor plates from the newly installed escalator at the Kalyan railway station.

Embarrassed railway officials have taken the matter so seriously that Central Railway’s top security boss AK Singh on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting of Railway Protection Force officers, demanding an explanation for the incident and asking them to find the culprit at the earliest.

Apart from the RPF team, teams of the railway police’s own Crime Intelligence Branch and Kalyan city police are also investigating the case.

“A case has been registered under Section 3 of Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner. “The estimated cost is around Rs 1.3 lakh. We have formed teams under Assistant Security Commissioner-Mulund and staff from Kalyan RPF and have also alerted the city police from Kalyan. We will nab the offender and make the recovery soon.”

Early morning on February 4, station officials noticed that the metal floor plate of the escalator on platform number one was missing. Officials, who were convinced that the theft must have occurred between 2 am and 4 am when there is no one on the platforms, alerted the RPF.

RPF sources said their informers told them they saw a man hanging around the spot, trying to loosen the plates on two occasions. The plates are firmly embedded to the ground, but are not fastened with bolts.

“The plates come off with a firm push if you insert a metal rod in the gap,” said an RPF officer. “The accused seems to have loosened the plates in two different attempts. He then seems to have come back and carried the plates away.”

Railway officials had to shut down the escalator for a day before new plates were installed. A CR official said the incident has raised concerns as the railway is in the process of installing escalators in all suburban railway stations. “That someone can so easily make off with the plates has become a huge concern for us,” said an officer.

RPF officials, who said the escalator fell out of their CCTV coverage area, have asked railway officials to install collapsible gates around the place for added safety.

Kalyan station, which sees 2.5 lakh commuters daily, will soon get a second escalator on the other end of the same platform. Dadar, Thane, Kalyan and Dombivli are the other stations that have escalators, which are functional between 6 am and 10 pm. For the first few weeks, officials had stationed two minders for each escalator, which has since come down to one.