Paradip, June 12 (LocalWire): The Railway Protection Force (RPF) today busted a major coal theft racket with the arrest of seven women who used to steal coal from running goods trains on the Cuttack-Paradip route.
Based on the complaints from the suppliers a team of RPF and railway police raided several places in Patapur, Badbandh, Kharikhot and other villages along the Cuttack-Paradip railway line and arrested seven women coal smugglers.
However, several women who were involved in the racket managed to escape during the raid.
The RPF and railway police team also raided running goods train on the route.
Villagers, including women and children from villages along the Cuttack-Paradip railway line, are used by the local mafia and the brick kiln owners to procure coal at a price lower than the market rate.
Facing odds, including the danger of overhead high-tension power line, the villagers who are well equipped with gunny bags wait for the goods train to slow down or come to a halt at the outer signal.
Reports suggest they steal over 50-100 bags of coal from each train and transport it to warehouses owned by local mafia using tractors that are parked nearby.
According to estimates, villagers pilferage over two to three truckloads of coal per day and many of them are dependent on this for their livelihood.
The pilfered coal is sold in the black market at prices between Rs 1,500-Rs 1,600 per quintal, much below the market price.