LAHORE – Pakistan Railways Police (PRP) is confident of unearthing details of the Jacobabad railway track theft scandal within a month.

The railways did not take notice of the theft until the 24-kilometre track worth Rs240 million totally disappeared from the scene, though the theft might have continued for months or years since the Jacobabad section was closed for operations for the last few years.

Not only this, interestingly those who were involved in the crime also arranged a new track worth Rs30 million for the same section by completing paper work in the name of replacement of track and later sold it as well.

Railways Police have been investigating the case for the past one month after being informed about it by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “The culprits will soon be arrested and we will be able to share details of the scandal with the media in one month,” PRP DIG Munir Ahmed Chishti told reporters recently.

“I agree that officers would be involved in this theft and they too would be punished as power the law,” Chishti replied when a journalist questioned how junior staff could commit such a crime without the involvement of their seniors.

Although PRP officers hold railway staff responsible for the theft, the latter claim that such a crime could not be committed without the involvement of railways police. The PRP, however, rebuffs these claims, arguing that the section was not under its jurisdiction, but that of district police. Chishti believes that the theft would not have been possible without the involvement of both district police and railways officers.

Chishti informed that railways police had detained a person named Subhan, who he said was the main accused in the case, and that investigations were under way.

“Subhan’s father, Siddique, was permanent way inspector (PWI), the in-charge officer, of the track and was also allegedly involved in stealing railways track. On retirement, he got his son – who was earlier working in the department as a petty clerk – promoted to this post. The son continued his father’s ‘mission’ of stealing the railways track,” he said sharing details of the case with journalists.

Interestingly, an FIR of the case was registered at a local police station in Jacobabad district by none other than Siddique, the accused in the case who was the PWI at that time.

The DIG told reporters that the PRP had so far successfully recovered 240 tons of railways track. He also assured that no one involved in the theft of railways track would be spared, whether an officer or a junior employee.