The government railway police (GRP) in association with the Railway Police Force (RPF) have nabbed a perpetrator who had targeted women travelling alone in suburban trains in the night hours to rob their jewels and other belongings.
According to the police, on October 30 around 4:30 a.m. when a 69-year-old woman, was travelling in the suburban train running from Arakkonam to Chengalpattu to reach a temple in Kancheepuram, a man had threatened her with knife and had got Rs 1,120 amount she had in her and further told her to remove her earnings. But as the elderly woman refused to give them, the man inflicted a cut on her hand, took away the earrings forcefully and fled the spot. Based on the complaint of a woman, a case was registered for Robbery by the Arakkonam police.
Similarly, in two separate incidents that took place on October 23 and earlier on October 10, the perpetrator had engaged in a similar act to two other middle-aged women in the night hours on the suburban trains between Tirumalpur-Thakkolam and Thakkolam-Arakkonam stations.
The accused had threatened the women to give him their gold chain, earrings as well as phone and jumped from the moving train and had escaped. The police registered cases based on the complaints from the victims.
Following repeated incidents within a short span of time, based on the directions of V Vanitha, additional director general of police (ADGP), railways, four special teams were formed under Ramesh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, (DSP), Railways, Egmore to nab the accused.
According to an official, since they were unable to trace the accused using the mobile phone signal as he used to throw them away in some area to prevent the police from tracking him, they came up with a traditional method where they made their women police officials to travel in suspected train routes in the guise of passengers.
The modus operandi of the accused has been to commit the crime on the train in the night hours, get down from them and travel to another place the next day on another train. The accused had purchased tickets and travelled as a passenger in these trains to carry out the crime.
In the late night on Monday, the police cracked down on a person who looked suspicious at platform No.6 at the Arakkonam railway station. While the team of officials comprising GRP and RPF, who were already deployed at the station, conducted an inquiry with him, the man was believed to have provided answers in an incoherent manner. When the police took him to the station and conducted further investigation, the man confessed to having committed the crime in all three incidents.
The police said the accused identified as R Anandhan (39), a resident of Arakkonam, Ranipet district, has five pending cases including robbery, house breaking against him. The cops arrested him and later lodged him in prison.
ADGP Vanitha noted that they took the case seriously as train is one of the modes of transport which is considered safe by the public and these incidents might inflict fear upon women who travel alone for work and other purposes. She congratulated her team of officials for cracking down on the case soon.
Further, the police have informed the public to dial 1512 or send a message to WhatsApp number 99625-00500 for any safety related complaints.