The Art of Manliness website reports

Bishnu Shrestha, who had just retired from the Indian army where he served as a Gorkha soldier, held off a horde of robbers that tried to rob a train in India. From the article on Republica:

“The band of about 40 robbers, some of whom were travelling as passengers, stopped the train in the Chittaranjan jungles in West Bengal around midnight. Shrestha– who had boarded the train at Ranchi in Jharkhand, the place of his posting–was in seat no. 47 in coach AC3.

“They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.

“The girl cried for help, saying ´You are a soldier, please save a sister´,” Shrestha recalled. “I prevented her from being raped, thinking of her as my own sister,” he added. He took one of the robbers under control and then started to attack the others. He said the rest of the robbers fled after he killed three of them with his khukuri and injured eight others…“Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty as a soldier; taking on the dacoits in the train was my duty as a human being,” said the Indian army nayak.

Essentially, one man took on 40 armed thieves with only a khukuri.

I find this hard to believe.

How can anyone come to a train bringing knife?

  • 8
    "How can anyone come to a train bringing knife?" - this is what you find hard to believe? Lots of people in India carrying knives all the time, it's not that controlled at all. And have you seen Indian trains: shalusharma.com/overcrowding-in-indian-trains
    – sashkello
    Apr 4, 2014 at 6:06
  • 5
    Well, him being a Gurkha, I don't think it is very surprising that he'll carry the tool of his trade on him.
    – drat
    Apr 4, 2014 at 6:12
  • 2
    Anyone can carry knives in trains in India in the general class. Gurkhas and Sikhs will not be prevented from carrying their traditional daggers.
    – rep_movsd
    Aug 31, 2016 at 19:00
  • Well, him being a Gurkha, I thought it was surprising that in this version of the story, 37 of the attackers survived. Sep 15, 2016 at 10:45
  • Nobody checks what you bring on a train. you could easily carry a flamethrower, if it was covered by a blanket... You are probably going to be checked when crossing borders though.
    – Bakuriu
    Sep 15, 2016 at 15:39

2 Answers 2


Bishnu Shrestha's story seems to have undergone some embellishments in the re-telling, but the underlying accounts were considered veracious enough for several medals and honours to be awarded.

Some notes:

  • Reading the question, I assumed "retired" meant 55 or older. He was 35 years old at the time of the incident. The people arrested for the crime were "youths".
  • The reports are inconsistent about the total number of criminals, the number he killed and the number he injured:

    • Republica reported (triggering the quote in the question) about 40 criminals, with three killed and eight injured.

    • Telegraph India saying "about 15" criminals, three injured, no deaths.

    • Xnepali report 30 train robbers (but judging from the URL, lowered it from 40 originally), three deaths and eight injuries.

    • The Indian Express reported 11 criminals, four injuries (amongst the passengers) and nothing about an ex-ghurka soldier fighting back.

  • so he retired at 35 years and carry knives to train? Not that it's wrong. But it's usually not allowed.
    – user4234
    Apr 4, 2014 at 16:22
  • 9
    One does not ask a Ghurka to relinquish their weapon.
    – Shadur
    Aug 30, 2016 at 14:06

No, he fought them, but didn't fight them off.

the khukri fell from my hand and I was overpowered. They picked it up and used it on me


Also, he only physically engaged 3 of robbers.

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