VIJAYAWADA:Dacoits struck terror in passengers in Howrah-Chennai and Hyderabad-Chennai Express trains near Ongole, snatched 48 grams of gold jewellery from two passengers before escaping under the cover of darkness even as the police chased them and opened fire at them in the early hours of Thursday.
According to police, the dacoits managed to tamper with the electric circuits of signal posts to turn green light into red to make the train stop for them to gain entry into the bogies.
“The dacoits used a two-rupee coin to tamper with the signal circuits running underneath the railway tracks to make the green light on signal post turn red. This is something new,” a railway police official said.
The dacoits first stopped Hyderabad-Chennai Express between Ongole and Surareddypalem and got into the train and snatched 24 grams of gold from one K Saraswathi of Ramanthapur in Hyderabad.
When Tirumala Express was on its way to Tirupati, the dacoits again stopped the train but police appeared on the scene foiling their attempts. Then they stopped Howrah-Chennai Express using the same method and managed to snatch 24 grams of gold jewellery from one K Subhashini of Anakapalle even as the police were zeroing in on them.
Seeing the police approach them, the dacoits quickly got down from the train and began running. Railway Police Sub- Inspector P Bhavanarayana with his staff tried to stop them by opening fire at them twice. But the dacoits threw stones at the advancing police party and managed to disappear into darkness, the police said.
Guntakal Railway Superintendent of Police M Subba Rao who visited Ongole on learning about the incident warned dacoits against any robbery attempts in future since shoot at sight orders were in force.
He complimented the police for resisting the attempts of the dacoits in robbing the passengers. “We will give a reward to Bhavanarayana for the exemplary courage he had shown in fighting the dacoits,” Susbba Rao said.