At 03:00 in the morning on 02 Jun 2015, I got a phone call from my uncle. By the time I could pick up the call, I missed it. There had barely been any signal at the place where I was staying and I was not able to receive any messages since last day. When I opened up my ‘Watsapp’, I got the message from my wife; it was erratically written and it said, “Help, all of us are falling ill in the train”. They were travelling for my sister’s marriage from Nagpur to Nasik on the 01 Jun 2015, and I was supposed to join the family from Kolkata on 03rd. Little did I know that my day on 02 Jun was about to begin with a horrific message.
I called back my uncle and he told me that my entire family was found drugged and unconscious on the Hwh-Mum mail at Nasik station at 12:30 pm at night. I was horrified. A sudden fear struck me when I thought about my daughter. Was she drugged too? Has she been taken? In a fraction of seconds, so many weird thoughts passed my mind. But then, I got the sigh of relief that she was safe, and she was the one because of whom the entire incident had been averted.
At around 08:30 pm at night, a very unusual time for the tea vendors to enter inside the AC coach, a pantry car tea vendor entered inside the II AC coach. The targets were already marked for him, it seems. My parents bought the tea and sipped it, though they were not able to make out anything unusual from the taste. At 09:30 pm, it was dinner time. They took their dinner from home so there was no need of buying it from someone else. All my family members including my daughter Sharbani, had the food and were preparing for the lights out when everyone started to behave in an awkward manner, except for Sharbani. She somehow didn’t had the tea like the rest of the family. And that saved the lives of everyone that night.
At 10:40 pm, my wife tried to send me the last message for help before she collapsed, but that message never reached me before 03:00 am next morning, precisely when my uncle rang up to give me the bad news. There was no signal on my phone exactly when I needed it the most. I frantically tried to call up my wife and mother, but they never replied my calls. The next thing I was trying to do was to make a reservation to Mumbai from Kolkata. I had to make it to Nasik as fast as possible. I logged on to Makemytrip to book my tickets but when I started booking my flight tickets, their ‘dynamic pricing’ mode not only screwed up my reservation, it also made a transaction for the day, and blocked the amount for the next two days, so that I was not able to use my card anymore on that day, due to transaction limitation. Things were pissing me off now, as I was not able to reach anyone. I desperately wanted to talk to my girl.
I made it to Nasik on 03rd finally in the afternoon and realized that my parents had been out of danger but still in the state of nausea and hallucination. They were coming back and forth from their consciousness and were only able to recollect bits and pieces of the incident. They were completely disoriented and were not able to coordinate their bodily movements.
I was glad to see all of them safe and wondered why there was no or little theft. Then I spoke to my daughter on the phone and I realized that she kept sitting for all those 2 hours next to everyone trying to desperately wake everyone up. At 5 years of age, there are some things that have come handy in her learning. She knows how to dial my mobile number, check missed calls, make a call back, and send text and voice messages on Watsapp. That was the life saviour.
At 12:40 midnight, my daughter took that brave step.Her mother was sleeping on the upper berth. She climbed up there, without anyone’s help, searched through her mother’s purse, took out the mobile phone and sent a voice message on my sister’s mobile no. from Watsapp. Then, the entire family was alarmed. She went running and trying to wake up the passengers on the neighboring seats but no one woke up. At around the same time, the Ticket Checker passed by and realized that my daughter had been making deliberate attempts to ask for help. He checked the calls on my wife’s mobile phone and also alerted the local authorities. Even after all this, my daughter just kept by the elders seats and did not allow anyone to come close.
At 01:30 am, my entire family was rescued at the Nasik Road Railway station. The drug was so much overdosed that my parents didnt come to senses for almost 48 hrs and were under continuously administered IV and fluids. They were discharged on 03rd evening, but no one had recovered fully.
When the railway police came to record the statement, they straightaway ruled out the possibility of the involvement of pantry car and said that cannot do that. There was no one else except for the pantry car person on the AC coach that evening. I enquired more and I realized that these incidences are prominently on a high on the route between Bhusawal, Manmad, Nasik and Mumbai. The passengers are drugged with a combination of hypnotic and sedative drugs called the MSD(Mouth Soluble Drugs) which are highly reactive and are tasteless, colorless and odorless. When mixed with water, though, they might change their color, but with tea, they are fast acting. With liquids, they immediately in the blood stream and can take out the targets in minutes. I was suspecting one thing though, that why it took an hour to react? When I spoke to the doctor, I was informed that the combination of hypnotic and sedative drug first makes a person dizzy, to the extent that s/he goes into hallucinations. The sedative takes over later and keeps the person asleep for hours together.
After lot of hesitation and my adamant stand, the Railway Police finally had to register the F.I.R against the pantry staff as there was no incident of any other person approaching them. The thief/ves were probably under the impression that my parents were travelling upto Mumbai and had less idea that they were to step down at Nasik.
What Drugs were Used?
There are nine common types of drugs that are used for such kind of incidents. Some of these drugs are used for medicinal treatment during surgeries, controlling anxiety disorders, for treatment of epilepsy and so on. These drugs are regulated by the Narcotics Department and FDA and despite lot of checks and balances, the criminal elements get away with these kind of drugs and narcotics. For the benefit of all, I am sharing these drugs so that you may spread the message to one and all.
- AMPHETAMINE: Amphetamine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.
- BARBITURATES: Barbiturates are drugs that act as central nervous system depressants, and can therefore produce a wide spectrum of effects, from mild sedation to total anesthesia. They are also effective as anxiolytics, hypnotics, and anticonvulsants. Barbiturates also have analgesic effects; however, these effects are somewhat weak, preventing barbiturates from being used in surgery in the absence of other analgesics…Read More..
- BENZODIAZEPINES: Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs whose core chemical structure is the fusion of a benzene ring and a diazepine ring. Read More…
- COCAINE: Cocaine (INN), also known as benzoylmethylecgonine, is a strong stimulant. It is commonly snorted, inhaled, or injected into the veins. It may results in a loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation. Read More..
- CANNABINOIDS: There are over 480 natural components found within the Cannabis sativa plant, of which 66 have been classified as “cannabinoids;” chemicals unique to the plant. The most well known and researched of these, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), is the substance primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Read More…
- PROPOXYPHENE: Propoxyphene is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers. Propoxyphene is used to relieve mild to moderate pain.Propoxyphene may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide. Read More…
- METHADONE: Methadone is an opioid medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs without causing the “high” associated with the drug addiction. Methadone is used as a pain reliever and as part of drug addiction detoxification…Read More…
The drugs that were used in combination were Benzodiazapine and Barbiturates, and are commonly used for treatment of epilepsy patients and during surgery for causing sedation to the patients. These drugs can be useful in mild quantities but a lethal dose can prove fatal, especially Barbiturates. Once mixed with the food, it is impossible to find out through any pH or litmus test to check what has been mixed with the food. Hence, the chances of being affected are even more, as the person does not know at all what he is eating.
My entire family is safe now, but not without the brilliance and presence of mind of my daughter. I was happy she was safe. She kept quiet and avoided the conversation until everyone came back home safely, after which she told us how she kept hold of the situation for so long, and finally averted the mishap.
We all want to say- Thank You Sharbani, for getting the entire family together. You have taught us the most important lesson of life…Togetherness and Happiness….
If you find this post useful, please share it with your friends…and help others to be aware, be safe while they travel…