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The same gang allegedly entered Kochi's Muttom Metro parking yard in May and spray-painted the words “SPLASH” and “BURN” on four coaches

Kochi Metro graffiti: Police suspect insider role as vandals deface coaches

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The Kochi police suspect the role of insiders in allowing two unknown people inside the Muttom yard of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) in Aluva and painting graffiti “Burn Play” and “First Hit in Kochi” on a coach parked for maintenance.

The staff spotted the writing on May 22, but the KMRL tried to push the matter under carpet. However, the breach became public after photos of the painted metro coaches appeared in media.

The Kochi Metro Police Station registered a case and launched a probe into the security breach, probing the terror angle as well mainly because of the mention of the no. 22, which police suspect could be the date for launching a terror attack.

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Police suspect it to be a handiwork of Rail Hoons, the group of international graffiti vandals, notorious for their creativity at public places. The Hoons were active in Kerala a few years back. But nothing was heard of them in the last 2-3 years.

The police investigation so far shows that the vandals definitely received support from someone inside KMRL because the coach that was painted was kept at a place when there was no power supply on the rail line. Only technical staff at the yard would know the time when power is cut off for maintenance. So far, the police have nothing but the visuals of two suspects who trespassed into the high security zone. The CCTV footage shows two unknown men in the yard, but they are too unclear to identify anyone.

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Police suspect the two men entered the metro yard through a storm water drainage line. KMRL has set up a high-level committee under KMRL Managing Director Loknath Behera, who is a former state police chief, to review the incident.

A KMRL official said that the coach on which the graffiti was painted has been at the Muttom yard for maintenance for the last some days. The yard has round the clock security and is under CCTV surveillance.

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