It's common for passengers to carry their belongings in drums, and nobody would suspect that they would have a corpse inside, said the RPF.
The Railway Police Force (RPF) in Bengaluru is on the lookout for four men — all of them in their early 20s — who had come with a plastic storage drum in an auto-rickshaw on the night of Monday, 13 March, and abandoned it at the Sir M Vishweshwaraya Terminal in Baiyapanahalli.
The drum had in it the decomposed body of a woman.
“We received information from the RPF about a plastic drum. When it was cut open, there was a foul smell emanating from a body,” said RPF Superintendent of Police (SP) Soumyalatha.
“We are looking into it. We have some clues and we are trying to track down the culprits,” she added.
Though the police are yet to ascertain the identity of the deceased, they claim to have obtained definite clues about the men from the footage obtained from CCTV cameras — both from the railway station and its surroundings.
Three teams have been formed to track and trace the accused, who the police think scattered after dumping the drum with the body at the railway station.
According to the police, the four men were seen hanging around the drum for about an hour after dumping it.
All four had come in an autorickshaw between 7.30 pm and 8 pm on Monday night, when there was a big crowd in the area.
They placed the drum among a few other waste-bin drums that the BBMP’s garbage trucks would pick up the next day.
“We are unsure if they were planning to load the drum onto some train. When there were no trains, they abandoned it there,” said an officer.
“There are several passengers who use such drums to pack their belongings like clothes and utensils, as they cannot afford suitcases, and nobody suspects anything if they walk around with a drum at the railway station,” he added.
This is the third incident in Bengaluru where women’s decomposed bodies have been found — once in a gunny sack from inside a train, and twice inside drums — abandoned on railway station premises, a senior RPF personnel told South First.
“There is certainly a pattern for the bodies recovered from the railway premises and a train. However, we cannot conclude at present if these are being carried out by a single gang,” the senior railway police officer said.
“Only after picking up the suspects and questioning them will we come to know why they had come with the body to the railway station.
As of now, we have registered a case of murder and are on the lookout for the accused,” Soumyalatha told South First.
In the first week of January this year, the decomposed body of a woman — aged around 30 years — was found stuffed in a blue drum abandoned at the Yeshwanthpura railway station.
The body was found inside the drum with a dupatta and other clothes stuffed tightly inside, so that the foul smell could not emanate easily.
The police believed that she had been strangulated and killed by the dupatta that was still around the body’s neck.
Sources at the Yeshwanthpura Railway Police Station hinted that the case seemed to have hit a dead-end as CCTV cameras at the railway station were not working for four days when the drum was abandoned near platform No 1.
As the body was decomposed beyond recognition, it has still not been identified.
The city railway police have been sharing the information regarding the incident with their counterparts — even in the neighbouring states — to ascertain the victim’s identity, but in vain.
In the second week of December 2022, the decomposed body of a woman was found in a gunny sack in one of the unreserved coaches of the Banagarpet-Sir M Vishweshwaraya Terminal MEMU special train.
In this case, too, the body of the woman, who seemed to be in her early 30s, was found wrapped in clothes and blankets.
The Baiyapanahalli railway police registered a case of murder and have been circulating her photographs on WhatsApp groups among police circles, including those of the neighbouring states, to ascertain her identity.
However, there has been no breakthrough in this case until now.