The Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Wednesday managed to arrest a Central Railway booking clerk, who had been evading CR's security apparatus for the past two months, in connection with a theft case at Kurla station.
Booking clerk Ehtesham Khan came on the RPF radar in June, when a small-time thief Salim, who the RPF had arrested, revealed Khan's name in connection with a large bundle of CVM coupons that had gone missing from the Kurla booking office. Khan had not been attending office since May nor was he seen in and around Byculla railway quarters, where he was allotted a flat.
CR officials said that Khan stopped attending office from May after an internal inquiry was ordered against him on the complaint of certain colleagues who seem to be having problem with Khan.
The fact that these CVM coupons, worth Rs1 lakh, had gone missing got noticed by the Kurla booking office staff on June 17 and the chief booking supervisor filed a case with the RPF on June 23. On June 24, based on a tip-off by an informant, the RPF nabbed Salim who confessed that he had a role in the theft of the coupons. Salim, a resident of Chunnabhatti, said Khan had given him the bundles for sale at various railway stations in the city.
RPF officials said that Khan's interrogation would throw light on when the CVM bundles might have been stolen though prima facie the officials believe the coupons might have been stolen around end of April or the beginning of May.
"If anyone wants to steal CVM coupon booklets, in order to not arouse suspicion, the person will steal the ones that are likely to be taken out for sale at a much later date. it could be similar in this case as well.Though the sequence of events will only be clear after we question Khan," said a senior RPF officer.
Khan, who was presented in court on Thursday, was sent to five days' RPF custody. Officers believe his interrogation will throw light on other cases, if any, of railway employees themselves playing a role in looting the national transporter. Khan was placed under suspension by CR authorities on Thursday.