RPF Chief backs CB-CID probe into Salem-Chennai Express Train heist

Says no littering of cash spotted on Chennai-Salem stretch

SALEM: Endorsing the decision of the State Government to entrust to the Crime Branch-CID the probe into the heist on the Salem-Chennai Express, Director General of Railway Protection of Force (RPF) S.K. Bhagat on Thursday said this would help track the culprits.

Mr.Bhagat, who inspected Goods Yard at Salem Railway Junction from where the train originated, said there was absolutely no confusion over the State’s decision. Investigation by the CB-CID will help crack the case, he said, adding that he had held discussions with the State Director General of Police in connection with the case on Wednesday night in Chennai.

According to him, the RPF was vested with limited powers while the CB-CID could carry out the investigation effectively, considering the complexity of the case. He said the RPF and the Government Railway Police would assist in the probe.

“We have to find out when and where the crime happened. Once the spot is fixed, then, it will only be a matter of time before the culprits are captured,” he said.

Anyone able to provide relevant information would be suitably rewarded, he said.

The entire track from Salem to Chennai was combed and no littering of currency was spotted anywhere. Replying to a question, Mr. Bhagat said that the security protocol involved in the transaction of huge amounts of money had been properly observed during this transaction too. He said banks had been told afresh to take all precautions for tamper-proof despatch of currency parcels.

Mr. Bhagat who arrived here along with P. C. Parhi, Inspector General of Police, RPF, Southern Railway, by the Chennai Egmore-Salem Express in the morning, held discussions with Hari Shankar Verma, Divisional Railway Manager, and Sanjay Kumar, City Police Commissioner.

He also made enquiries with the staff at the parcel office who were involved in the loading of the currency stock.

Investigating agencies are studying speed restrictions on trains at five points on the Salem –Attur-Vridhachalam section The restriction was imposed for work on railway projects a couple of months ago. While the speed limit in the Pukkiravari-Mukhasa Parur section is 10 kmph, it is 20 kmph on the Salem Market-Salem Town and Attur-Chinna Salem sections.

The limit on the Meenampalli-Yethapur and Yethapur-Attur sections is 45 kmph.

Though both the RPF and the Government Railway Police have ruled out the possibility of the theft occurring while the train was moving, they are probing whether the criminals managed to escape by jumping off the train while it was moving slowly.