Armed robbery on the rise near Ernakulam junction railway station

"Homeless persons who live on the streets near the station have been found to be involved in many of the cases, said Ernakulam central assistant commissioner of police V K Raju.
Representative image
Representative image

KOCHI: The area adjoining the western rim of Ernakulam Junction railway station has become a dreaded place for travellers, following frequent incidents of snatching and attacks on those refusing to part with their possessions. In a recent incident, a man from Chingavanam, Kottayam, was attacked and robbed of Rs 10,000 by a four-member gang.

The incident took place on June 1 after the 30-year-old, on his way to catch a train, withdrew money from an ATM near Ernakulam Government Girls HSS. “It was around 5 pm. While walking towards the station he was attacked from behind. As he fell to the ground, he noticed the four men. They demanded money. When the victim refused, one of the accused slammed his head with a stone. They snatched his wallet and decamped with the money. The victim was rushed to hospital and administered primary medical aid. He later approached Ernakulam Central police and lodged a complaint,” an officer said.

On May 26, a 34-year-old Cherthala native was attacked by an unidentified person with a blade. But the police apprehended the accused. Last month, officers arrested 21-year-old Vishal of Corporation Colony, Elamkulam, after he attacked a traveller who was having food near a roadside eatery. Vishal approached the victim and threatened him to hand over his money. At the slightest hint of resistance, he pulled out a sharp object and stabbed the victim in the face. Vishal was later arrested, though he even attempted to escape custody.

The repeated incidents of robbery and violence have come to our notice, said Ernakulam Central Assistant Commissioner of police V K Raju.

In most cases, the accused demands money for procuring alcohol, he said. “Homeless persons who live on the streets near the station have been found to be involved in many of the cases. Their victims are mostly rail travellers from outside the state and the city. We have made several arrests. But on being released, they return to their old ways,” the ACP said.

As a preventive measure, officers have decided not to allow street dwellers to sleep near the station area at night. “We have also enhanced round-the-clock patrolling of the area. Victims must report incidents, which will allow us to initiate strict action,” Raju said.

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