Chief booking supervisor N Shankar of Kandivli station returned to his office at Kandivli station on Wednesday after collecting ticket earnings of Rs4.8 lakh for the morning shift that ended at 1.30pm.
Keeping the briefcase on a table, he turned to wash his hands at the wash basin nearby. After a few seconds when he turned, the briefcase was gone.
It happened so quickly, said officials, that the Railway Protection Force personnel accompanying Shankar couldn’t even react.
“There is no CCTV camera in the area where the incident happened,” said Western Railway officials.
Explaining the procedure of collecting cash, a senior official said: “Every day when a shift ends, the chief booking supervisor has to collect and count the cash and then deposit the money in the box at the station. The collection of earnings is done thrice a day and the next day the cash is deposited in a bank.”
Kandivli station has ticket sales of around Rs20 lakh every day.
Till late evening, WR officials had not filed an FIR because that would mean the arrest of the chief booking supervisor, which could create trouble with the unions. The railways has allowed Shankar a day’s time to see if he can pay the stolen cash. If he can, then Shankar would file an FIR as a complainant.
A complaint has been forwarded to the RPF because ticket earnings falls under railway property.
Several senior officials rushed to Kandivli to inquire into the incident. Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager, WR, said an inquiry into the theft has begun.