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Tue. Dec 6th, 2022
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PATNA: Police on Thursday said gangs of robbers are busy making off with diesel and vintage train engines and unbolting steel bridges in Bihar and giving them sleepless nights in the process.
Last week, a gang stole an entire diesel train engine brought for repairs at Garhara yard in Barauni. The gang achieved this by stealing a few parts at a time.
The first discovery came after police detained three people and, based on their information, they recovered 13 sacks of engine parts from a scrap godown located in Muzaffarpur’s Prabhat Colony.
“What was more perplexing, we discovered a tunnel near the yard through which the thieves would come and steal engine parts and carry them away in sacks, with the railway authorities none the wiser,” a senior police officer said.
An even more curious turn to the crime came from Purnia district recently, where conmen sold off an entire vintage metre gauge steam engine, which was stationed at the local railway station for public display.
During investigation, police found that a railway engineer had sold off the classic steam engine on the basis of a forged letter claimed to have been issued by the divisional mechanical engineer, Samastipur division.
If all this were not enough, another gang unlocked an iron bridge over Sitadhar river in Bihar’s northeastern Araria district, prompting police to register an FIR and deploy a constable for its security.
The Paltania bridge, as it is popularly known in the area, connects Forbesganj town with Raniganj, another town in Araria. Police were hugely surprised after finding some iron angles and other key parts of the bridge missing from there.
Taking the matter seriously, police put in place measures to ensure the bridge doesn’t get stolen.
“We have deployed a constable for the security of the bridge, so that it remains safe,” Forbesganj police station in charge, Nirmal Kumar Yadvendu, told TOI over phone on Thursday.
“We have also registered a case against unidentified people for stealing parts of the iron bridge and investigation is on,” the police officer added.
In April this year, robbers sold off a 45-year-old steel bridge weighing some 500 tons after dismantling it during the daytime, as no one suspected their intention.
Police arrested eight people in the case, including an assistant engineer of the water resources department. Based on their confessions, police recovered the scrap material.

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