Two men wearing pollution masks did not rouse suspicion when they entered the Rajendra Place Metro station early on Monday morning. It was only after they had stabbed the station controller and fled – with a whopping amount of Rs 12 lakh – did officials realise the gravity of the first-of-its-kind robbery inside the Metro network.
According to news reports, the men were frisked as usual by CISF personnel around 5.14am. They had recharged their cards as well and were inside the station for a good 20 minutes, without rousing doubts or raising eyebrows. They then proceeded towards the platform where the control room is located. They knocked at the controller’s door on the pretext of filing a complaint, and stabbed the man. The accused fled with the weekend collection of Rs 12 lakh. They ran downstairs, jumped over the AFC gates and escaped with ease. A CISF personnel tried to stop them, but the men ran away nonetheless.
The injured station controller has been admitted in the intensive care unit in Ganga Ram hospital where he is convalescing.
The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation is a well-spread network connecting almost the whole of Delhi to the NCR cities. While there have been safety lapses in the past, such an audaciously-macabre attack has shaken the very foundations of the railway’s security system. Gaping holes and a lax security system has thrown the network on the edge.
There are questions that need to be answered. How did the men waltz inside the Metro station carrying a knife, and nobody got a hunch? The robbery happened early in the morning. The accused were inside the station between 5.14am and 5.34am – a ghostly hour, when there is hardly any commuter traffic. Then why would they wear masks inside the premises, when there is no risk of contracting air-borne infections? What had kept the security officers so busy that they did not detain these men on suspicion, or frisk them well? Was the knife on their person? If so, why was it not detected? The men could have hidden the knife in the bagpacks they carried; was there a half-hearted scanning?
As a layman, I would never know where DMRC stacks its cash. How did the men know the money would be inside the controller’s room? Was there someone inside the system who had helped them?
There has been a massive breach of security. Considering the fact that Delhi is always on Red Alert, such a breach only raises doubts on the city’s incompetence to deal with despicable activities.