Alert railway personnel averted a possible train mishap when they detected two huge stone slabs kept on the tracks between Sathajagat and Dalsingsarai railway stations under Sonepur division of East Central Railway (ECR) in the wee hours of Monday.
The Muzaffarpur-Bhagalpur (13220) Intercity Express was to cross the stretch at around 1am.
Gangmen Manzoor Alam and Ramesh Prajapati, who were on night patrolling spotted the two big stone slabs between Dalsinghsarai and Sathajagat stations, and quickly alerted officials.
Before that, some anti-socials had threatened them when they tried to remove the slabs from the railway tracks.
“Apprehending danger to their lives, both fled from the scene and immediately alerted the Dalsinghsarai RPF, GRP and other railway authorities about the obstruction,” said Arvind Rajak, chief public relations officer, East Central Railway (ECR).
Soon, railway officials with police force reached there and removed the slabs.
Chief security commissioner-cum-inspector general RPF, ECR, R Verma suspected it to be the handiwork of some rowdy elements and not of the Maoists.
The issue once again brought into focus the sabotage theory doing the rounds after the Indore-Patna Express mishap in which 148 persons lost their lives near Kanpur on November 20, last year.
Meanwhile, the ECR has launched an intensive safety campaign in its all five divisions.
The ECR had begun reviewing the condition of tracks along its 3,800 km route in Bihar and Jharkhand.
ECR general manager DK Gayen said the zone had already started intensive inspection of the railway tracks.
“Improving our signalling system is top on agenda. We are doing our best to keep it free from hindrance,” he said.
“The ECR has started holding refresher courses and counselling on safety for stationmasters, drivers and other related staff in all the divisions,” Gayen said. Besides, safety inspectors were undertaking trips to remind locomotive drivers about safety rules.
Though rail fractures were common in winter, he said the Kanpur mishap pointed at sabotage and terror angle.
The ECR had asked gangmen to intensify patrolling on railway tracks on round-the-clock basis. The GM said the ECR would felicitate the two gangmen — Manzoor Alam and Ramesh Prasad Prajapati — for their brave act in averting a train mishap.