In what has sent the police scurrying for leads, over Rs.5 crore has been stolen from a goods train transporting the cash belonging to the Reserve Bank of India in Tamil Nadu.
The money on the train, totaling Rs 342 crore, was being transported from the Indian Overseas Bank, Salem to RBI, Chennai in 226 boxes, of which 4 boxes were found to be tampered with, say police. The train was operating between Salem and Chennai Egmore station, and it was in Chennai that the robbery was detected. However, the cash being transported were reportedly soiled notes.
One box was found to be empty, another half-empty and the other two spilled over, according to the police.
The police have currently cordoned off the area to investigate. The compartment was sealed and protected, and the point of entry into the compartment was found to be a hole made in the roof of coach.
There was a scheduled halt at Vridhachalam for an engine change. The diesel engine was changed to an electric engine, and while there is a suspicion that the robbery could have happened there, it is unlikely, say police.
TV reports say that the police believe that the robbery could have happened in Chinna Salem or Attur.
As the theft relates to cargo, it comes under the jurisdiction of the Railway Police Force, and a case has been registered by the RPF. The Tamil Nadu Government Railway Police is coordinating with the RPF on the investigation.
"3 DSPs have been brought in along with the Chennai SP to investigate. As of now Vijayakumar, a Trichy SP has been sent to Salem to investigate. Because the train had a stop at Virudhachalam, we cannot rule it out," says Ramasubramani, IG Chennai.