The robbery took place soon after the passenger train left Narkopi station. The robbers made their escape near Argora on the outskirts of the capital.
Eyewitnesses said that the gang boarded the train at Lohardaga and occupied the luggage space. "They pretended to have fallen asleep, but soon after the train left Narkopi, they started firing in the air and asked the passengers to hand over their belongings. They also beat up those who were reluctant to part with the cash," said an eyewitness.
Over 20 passengers were robbed. An employee of Ruchika Sales lost Rs 8,700 in cash, a gold chain, a wristwatch and a mobile phone. After the looting spree, the gang pulled the chain when the train was about to reach Argora and fled. The passengers lodged a complaint with the GRP after reaching Ranchi junction.
This was the second time that a passenger train was targeted in Ranchi rail division. On September 22, suspected PLFI members shot dead a district police havildar on board Jharsuguda-Hatia passenger train at Bakashpur railway station in Khunti district.
Additional director-general of railway Kumud Choudhary, however, ruled out any link between the two incidents. "Efforts are on to arrest the robbers soon," she said, adding that criminals languishing in jails might be involved.
We are collecting information from sources inside jail and hope to make a breakthrough soon," she added.
October 2, 2009 / Telegraph