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Health, travel, environment and other related topics. Tips and tricks for keeping your body in shape for spiritual life. Taking care of your health while traveling in India.

Gang-assault at rlway-Xing Vrindavan/Goverdhan - 3 killed, killers local people

nabadip - Mon, 24 Oct 2005 17:00:41 +0530
This is old news by now, but it is the nightmare of every India-traveler, and happened right in the middle of the Dham. I think the place is no accident, and I also think we are going to see this kind of thing more and more, as the discrepancy between the rich and the poor increases, which is especially evident at places where Westerners congregate with Indians.
nabadip - Mon, 24 Oct 2005 17:02:46 +0530
Road hold up in Mathura claims 3 lives

Vijay Upadhyay / Mathura

The Pioneer, Delhi 19 August, 2005

As soon as Madan Pal Singh, an advocate, stopped his car at the Julhendi railway crossing near Mathura on Wednesday night to let the train pass, he was pulled out of the car by armed goons and shot.

He was accompanied with his family. This was not a planned murder, but part of a road holdup on the Goverdhan-Vrindavan Road in Mathura, which had already claimed three lives, including a woman. Later on, residents of the nearby Julhendi village managed to strike down one of the goons, while at least a dozen of them managed to escape.

According to the locals, the incident took place at about 8 pm in the night. About one dozen armed bandits overpowered Vinod, the gateman of Julhendi railway crossing on the Vrindavan-Goverdhan Road and lowered the gate. They made the vehicles stop at the gate.

As soon as the vehicles stopped, the bandits robbed the passengers of their valuables, waving country-made pistols. When some passengers tried to object to this road holdup, they were answered with a bullet. At least three people, including the Chhata Bar Association vice-chairman Madan Pal Singh and a woman were shot down by the bandits, while three others were injured.

The holdups continued till almost three hours and was only checked when the residents of the nearby Julhendi village arrived on the scene, hearing the sound of firing from the railway crossing.

When the villagers challenged the robbers, they began to flee from the scene but one of them was caught by the villagers. They beat him to death even before he could be rescued by the police. The police arrived several hours after the incident.

Surprisingly, during this entire incident, the police force present at a nearby police post remained unaware of the incident. According to Mathura Senior Superintendent of Police Satyendra Vir Singh, the robbery was carried out by a group of unorganised criminals.

He further added that they could belong to nearby villages as, he said, the pattern in which the road holdup was conducted, was not reminiscent of the crime pattern of any known criminal gang of the area.
Madhava - Mon, 24 Oct 2005 18:22:59 +0530
I heard something of this, but no specifics. Thanks for filling us in on the incident. The response of the villages shows amicable vigilance in the absence of police force. At least you aren't totally alone.

The good news is that this wasn't specifically focused on Western people.

I wonder if this is the road coming from the Chatigara crossing towards Radha-kund, or the next road towards Mathura leading first to Govardhan. The Chatigara road has had a bad reputation since a long time.
nabadip - Mon, 24 Oct 2005 19:37:13 +0530
I thought it was the first crossing on the road from Vrindavan direction Radhakund, after the National Highway. That railway crossing is often busy and you can wait for half an hour for the train to come. The police station there is next to the National Highway while the village is somewhat behind on the other side of the crossing, if I remember correctly.
babu - Mon, 24 Oct 2005 20:55:30 +0530
Do you think devotees should start packing some heat on their pilgrimages?
nabadip - Tue, 25 Oct 2005 17:12:07 +0530
The bottom line is the advice to never to be out of town after sunset while in India. Most robberies in India seem to happen after sunset til about midnight. Even bandits get tired and prefer to sleep at night, it seems. unsure.gif In the Braj area I think it is particularly dangerous to have to take a bus from Mathura, for instance to Goverdhan, any time in the day, but especially late in the day. Perhaps it is dangerous everywhere in India. Bridges are often dangerous spots, because people can sleep under them and wake up to attend a robbery when a car or bus approaches.

Another necessary conclusion is to wake up from the maya of thinking that everyone in Braj is a holy person and acting accordingly. I am sure there is a perspective that can adjust to this event here also, but it is better not to entertain those fantasies when considering your own safety.

Should one be out with arms? A mace perhaps, yes, but I would not carry more than a pocket knive. One GM sannyasi told me a story of how he was late at night on foot out somewhere, and he had fixed a knive to his danda, which he promptly could use when he was attacked by three robbers. He slit one attacker's belly with his danda-knive and the others fled in horror.