Four people, including two university students, were killed and three others injured when robbers stabbed and tossed them off the roof of a running train after they tried to overpower them near Begunbari in Mymensingh on Wednesday night.
Railway officials and passengers said the robbery was committed in Agnibina intercity train that runs between Dhaka and Bahadurabad after it left Begunbari railway station at about 8:00pm.
Begunbari railway station master Dewan Harun on Thursday told reporters that a gang of about 25 armed robbers barged through a crowd of passengers on the train’s roof looting their money and belongings and stabbing whoever attempted to stop them when the Dewanganj-bound train was approaching Rupakhali.
Among the deceased, two were identified as Pritam Biswas Souvik,23, son of Pradip Kumar Biswas of Shewrapara of Mymenshingh town, and a student of Santa Marium private university in Dhaka, and Rezaul Karim Reza,23, son of Nawab Ali of Shalihar village under Gouripur upazila of the same district, and a student of Daffodil International University in Dhaka. Identities of the rest two victims could not be known immediately.
Dewan Harun quoting injured passengers said that the robbers had stabbed seven passengers and threw them off the running train when they tried to overpower them. Four of them died on the spot. Railway police recovered the bodies from different places along the track between Mymensingh and Nurandi railway station in Jamalpur district on Thursday morning, police said.
The injured were admitted to Mymensingh Medical College and Hospital and Muktagachha upazila health complex by villagers at Vidyaganj. They were identified as Md Sumon, 26, Mohammad Ripon, 28, and Sujan Miah, 25.
Sumon told reporters that the robbers had tossed them off the roof of the running train after snatching their belongings. ‘They stabbed and threw us out when we tried to resist them. We shouted for help but everyone was frightened as the robbers were more than 20 in number,’ he said.
He said that the robbers had left the train after it reached Begunbari station.
Railway police chief deputy inspector general Sohrab Hossain told New Age on his way to Mymensingh on Thursday evening that an investigation into the robbery would be launched. He said that passengers were asked not to travel on train roofs for their security.
Sohrab Hossain blamed inadequate lighting and shortage of police personnel for frequent incidents of mugging at different railway stations. He said a case was filed in this connection.
Jamalpur railway police officer-in-charge Khandaker Shaker Ahmed told New Age that four suspects had been arrested on Wednesday night in connection with the train robbery.
The suspects are Md Hasu, 15, Sabuj Ahmed, 16, Akter Hossain, 18, and Jahurul Haque, 16.
He said that drives were underway to track down the gang of robbers.
Train journey has turned risky across the country as muggers and robbers are on the prowl taking the advantage of slipshod security at the stations, passengers said.
Muggers prey on passengers frequently at railway stations across country and most of the incidents go unreported, some passengers said.
They said manhandling of and physical assault on passengers by porters and muggers were also commonplace in the city’s railway stations and stoppages.
As soon as night falls, muggers, mostly drug-addicts start waiting for prey at the stations and stoppages, some victims said.
Passengers said muggers in the guise of passengers board trains after they leave the station platforms, rob them at gunpoint, and quickly get off the still slow-moving train and melt into the darkness.
In many cases, when passengers refuse to hand over their valuables, the muggers attack them, said some of the victims.
On July 22, an elderly woman sitting next to the door of a train compartment choked to death as a gang of muggers dragged at the purse hung around her neck at the airport railway station in Dhaka.
The purse caught the eyes of three muggers, who began to run along the train as it started moving and pulled at the purse so hard that the woman choked to death, the police quoting the victim’s family said.
-With New Age input