75 army bullets stolen from express train

MUMBAI: As many as 75 bullets belonging to the military were stolen from the Guwahati Express on Saturday. The theft was discovered after the train arrived at the Kurla terminus.

Eight army jawans, who were taking these bullets to Pune for testing, found that they had gone missing from the luggage compartment. The Kurla government railway police (GRP) registered a case of theft against the unidentified accused late on Saturday.

"Soon after the train (5646) arrived at Kurla Terminus, the army jawans approached the police, stating that 75 bullets kept in three boxes were missing from the luggage compartment," said a police officer from the Kurla railway police. The train had arrived at the station at 10.30 pm. The jawans, said the police, are attached to the Assam regiment of the army.

"These jawans had kept the boxes in the luggage compartment while they sat in the general bogies. They should not have done this since there was no one to take care of such an important consignment," said an officer, adding that other things kept with the stolen boxes were fuse wires and signal wires, but only bullets were stolen.

"We are worried as to how boxes containing bullets were stolen. The boxes had no mark or signature and nobody knew which box contained what. We are recording the statements of the jawans. We will soon reach a conclusion," the officer said.

The policemen opined that the theft must have taken place somewhere near Itarsi railway station in Madhya Pradesh where the train halted for a long time. Investigators say that they are sure the theft did not take place in Mumbai.

"We can't understand why the boxes containing sensitive stuff were kept in the luggage compartment. Had it been kept along with the jawans' belongings, theft could not have taken place," the officer said, adding "During the long journey, the jawans did not go to the luggage compartment to check if the boxes were kept properly."

"We have informed all railway stations where the train halted and also flashed wireless messages about the theft. The bullets were being taken for testing in Pune along with other stuff," the officer stated.