The accident happened at about 9.30am in the railway tracks of Mathura, near Kosikala. The fourth friend, Aneesh, who survived the accident, told police that they were on their way to Agra to see the Taj Mahal on Republic Day and had stopped the car they were travelling in at the railway track to attempt the "daredevil selfie".
Those who died have as of now just been identified as Yakub, Iqbal and Afzal. All of them were between 20 and 22 and college-goers, police said. While Yakub belonged to Moradabad, Iqbal was from Faridabad and Afzal from New Delhi. Police said they were trying to establish more details related to the young men but were hampered by the fact that their counterparts in the other cities were busy with Republic Day security.
They were hopeful that the picture would get clearer by Tuesday.
Sanjay Kumar, additional station officer at the Kosi police station in Mathura, said the four friends wanted to take photos of themselves on the rail tracks as close to an oncoming train as possible. They wanted to upload their selfies on social networking sites.
Aneesh, who said he wanted to capture the dare devil act on his camera, told the cops the timing went horribly awry as a speeding train knocked them down, killing them on the spot before they could jump off the track.
Police have sent the bodies for postmortem.