Endorsing the decision of the State Government to entrust to the Crime Branch CID the probe into the daring heist of Rs. 5.75 crore on the Salem-Chennai Express, Director-General of Railway Protection of Force (RPF) S.K. Bhagat on Thursday said this would help track the culprits.

Mr. Bhagat, who inspected Goods Yard at the Salem Railway Junction from where the train originated, said there was no confusion over the State’s decision. Investigation by the CB-CID will help to crack the case; he said and added that he had held discussions with the State Director-General of Police in connection with the case on Wednesday in Chennai.

According to him, the RPF was vested with limited powers. The CB-CID police could carry out the investigation effectively considering the complexity of the case, Mr. Bhagat said. However, it would be a joint team effort and the RPF and the Government Railway Police would assist in the CB-CID probe.

“It is not a question of which police wing investigates the case, but it is a question of involvement of total government apparatus,” he said. Mr. Bhagat said that this was the first time that a crime of such a magnitude had been committed on a train in the country. It had generated tremendous amount of concern at the highest level. “We will leave no stone unturned to probe the matter and bring the culprits to book at the earliest,” he said.

“We have to find out when and where the crime was committed. Once the scene of crime is fixed then it will be a matter of time before the culprits are captured,” he said. Mr. Bhagat said the video footages, messages received in social media, the recordings in the CCTVs were all being examined. Calling for public help in tracking the thieves, he said informants would be suitably rewarded.

The entire track from Salem to Chennai Egmore via Vriddhachalam was combed and no littering of currency was spotted anywhere.

To a question, Mr. Bhagat said the security protocol involved in the transaction of huge money had been observed during this transaction too.

When asked whether banks had been directed to step up the security arrangements during such transactions, the RPF Director-General said that the banks had been told afresh to take all effective precautions for tamper proof despatch of currency parcels. Protocol to be observed on such occasions had been well defined and the RPF would again review the existing arrangements following the unprecedented manner of crime.

Meanwhile, the investigating agencies were studying speed restrictions imposed on trains at five points on the Salem-Attur-Vridhachalam section for the past couple of months.

The speed restriction had been imposed for the execution of the railway projects.

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