New Delhi: In what has put a serious question mark on safety of rail passengers, Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya and his wife were robbed by armed dacoits in Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Express early Thursday.
Malaiya and his wife were travelling in the First Class AC compartment of Jabalpur-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express when armed men forcibly opened the doors at gun point near Kosi Kalan in Mathura district and looted the passengers, including the MP minister.
Another passing by train was also looted by the gang, reports added.
According to Railway spokesperson Anil Saxena, three RPF personnel, who were escorting the train, have been suspended in connection with the issue.
Gold chain, ring and some cash were looted from the couple at dagger point in the AC compartment of the running train. The couple had boarded the train at Damoh for Delhi.
Narrating her harrowing experience, Sudha Malaiya told a news agency outside Parliament, "We were travelling by Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Express train to Delhi and we boarded the train at Damoh. There was a knock at the door of our coupe at about 4 am and when I opened the door a person carrying dagger entered forcefully followed by four others."
Sudha, who is also a BJP worker, said: "Then they snatched my purse, chain and ring. They also took away money from my husband's purse. There was another ring on my left hand which was not coming out and they threatened to cut my finger. However, one of the robbers tried to pull that ring but could not succeed."
She said the accused also robbed passengers in the adjoining coupe.
Asked about the response of the RPF, she said: "Because of RPF other passengers were saved. Train was stopped due to chain pulling and when the RPF men came the robbers left."
She further said that they will meet Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to inform about the incident and the issue was also raised in Parliament by BJP MP Prahalad Patel.
The miscreants took away nearly Rs 20,000-22,000 and some gold ornaments including a ring from the Minister, a Railway Police official said.
A complaint about the incident was filed by the Minister's wife with the police at Hazrat Nizamuddin Station and the matter was forwarded to concerned Government Railway Police at Mathura, he added.
The Kosi Kalan section has, for long, been a trouble spot for the railways. The latest incident indicates that the efforts to ensure safety to trains passing through the section are yet to show results on the ground.
(With PTI inputs)