Many passengers lose their luggage, mobile phones, laptops and other belongings to thieves and pickpockets while traveling on Indian railways. Most of these lost or stolen items are never retrieved, despite complaints. But that seemed to change for many in Mumbai after the Government Railway Police (GRP) returned stolen laptops, phones, and cash which have a collective value of Rs 14 lakh to their rightful owners on Monday. The items were returned to the owners in an event to mark International Women’s Day. The event also saw 34 other passengers getting back their stolen belongings.
Among those reunited with their goods was a retired businessman Suresh Savaliya, who had given up hope of getting his 22 grams of gold chain that was stolen along with his handbag during one of his journies in 2007. Much to his surprise, 14 years after the theft, the railway police handed over his gold ornament at the event. The GRP, after years of search for the accused and the jeweler who brought the stolen gold, were successful in retrieving the precious metal that had been melted and turned into a gold biscuit. It was eventually recovered and returned to its rightful owner.
Another businessman Shripal Jain, who deals in computers, had his phone stolen. Unlike Savaliya, his phone was tracked down within two days. Jain saidhe boarded a train from Mumbai’s Thane station and as he was getting into a Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) local train, he found that his pocket was picked. Concerned about his data and mobile data wallets on the phone, he rushed to the police station to lodge a complaint. Upon reaching the station, he said the staff was polite and they escorted him to view CCTV footage. They lodged his complaint and to his surprise, solved the case in the first week of February this year.
Meanwhile, for the other 34 passengers, it was an emotional moment when they were reunited with their belongings.
Despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the GRP returned stolen valuables worth close to Rs 4.5 crore to over 3,400 rightful owners last year.