Mumbai crime: Thief who tried to steal railway signalling cables nabbed

RPF officials arrested 38-year-old daily wage labourer Naseeruddin Pathan yesterday for snipping cables from the junction box opposite Shakti Mills at Lower Parel last week

Exactly a week after he tried to steal cables from a junction box, leading to scrambling of services on the Western line on April 20, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) nabbed a 38-year-old daily wage labourer for the crime. Based on a tip-off, the officials arrested Naseeruddin Pathan from Dhobi Ghat yesterday.

Also read: Cable theft on WR leads to 50 services being cancelled

Naseeruddin Pathan
Naseeruddin Pathan

Pathan tried to steal 28 cables from the junction box at Lower Parel opposite Shakti Mills. The attempted theft had resulted in signal failure between Mahalaxmi and Elphinstone Road. All the signals between these three stations turned red abruptly, bringing services to a grinding halt.

mid-day report on April 21 highlighting the cable theft and the resulting scrambling of services on the Western line
mid-day report on April 21 highlighting the cable theft and the resulting scrambling of services on the Western line

More than 50 services were cancelled on that day. Sources claimed that Pathan assumed that the silver-coloured junction box, with lots of wires inside, was a piece of scrap. He then broke open the lock and clipped all the cables, hoping to extract copper wires and sell them.

“But when he realised that the trains had stopped running soon after he cut the cables, he panicked. Pathan then set the cables ablaze and fled the spot,” said a RPF officer.

Official speak
“He seems to be a poor man, who wanted to make a buck or two by selling these cables. He confessed to the crime during interrogation. He’ll remain in our custody till May 2,” said Anand Vijay Jha, senior divisional security commissioner (Mumbai), Western Railway. Pathan was booked under Sections 174 and 179 (both of which are for tampering or interfering with railway property) of the Railways Act, 1989.

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