COIMBATORE: In a daring act, an armed gang robbed Rs 9.25 lakh from a merchant who stepped out of the Podanur railway junction, early on Wednesday.
Police said A Zaheer Hussain (46) hailing from Neikkarapatti village near Palani, had arrived in the West Coast Express around 6 am and was walking out of the station when robbers struck. The gang sprinkled chilly power on Hussain and swung a sickle at him.
“I ducked to escape the attack. At that moment, one of the gang members snatched the suitcase from me and fled. Before leaving, he injured me in the thigh,” said Hussain. Some of Hussain’s friends, who had accompanied him, went after the attackers, but in vain.
“The culprits ran along the platform, scaled the compound just opposite the railway police station and got into an MUV and sped away,” said Railway Police inspector Lawrence.
While two persons had carried out the robbery, it is suspected that three to four persons had been waiting in the vehicle. At that time, there were hardly any commuters at the station and cops on patrol. This made things easy for the robbers.
Hussain is a jaggery merchant and was returning from Kerala after collecting cash from the shops he was doing business with.
Police suspect that the criminals are from Kerala and had been following Hussain. “Also, one of the gang members had identified Hussain to the other person after which the attack was carried out. Therefore, we suspect that somebody known to Hussain had carried out the robbery,” said a police officer.