Many passengers on board a Chennai-Patna express train were robbed off their jewellery and cash by armed dacoits in Uttar Pradesh's Chitrakoot district early on Monday, police said.
The dacoits barged into the coaches of the Ganga-Kaveri Express around 1.30 am as the train was enroute to Patna in Bihar. Over a dozen passengers were also injured in the attack.
Dacoits blocked the rail tracks and stopped the train as it left the Manikpur railway station and was headed for Allahabad, a police officer said.
"The dacoits raised the signal near the Panhai railway station and barged into two coaches, attacked and threatened clueless sleeping passengers," he added.
According to the accounts given by the passengers to the police, there were a dozen armed men. They smashed glass panes of the two sleeper-class bogies and bashed up the people inside.
The dacoits took more than an hour to carry out the attack. Police arrived after someone dialed the 100 emergency service.
District Magistrate and other senior officials including Deputy Inspector General Chitrakoot rushed to the site. A search operation is on.
"Teams led by the Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Jha, additional SP Balwant Chowdhary are combing the area," an official told IANS.
While police are suspecting local gangs there is a section of the local intelligence unit (LIU) which suspect that the robbery could have been carried out by dacoit Babuli Kol gang. Kol carries a cash reward of Rs 5.5 lakh on his head.
After almost two hours of the incident the train was allowed to proceed to Allahabad on its onward journey.