Palamu Express derails as Maoists blow up track in Jharkhand

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2015 23:56 IST

Maoists allegedly blew up tracks and derailed the Palamu Express at Chhipodohar village in Jharkhand's Latehar district, around 125 km north of Ranchi, on the first day of their two-day bandh on Tuesday to protest the June 9 Palamu encounter.

Three bogies and the engine were off the track which was ripped by a high power improvised device blast. He said the Plamau Express was travelling from Barkakana in Ramgrah to Patna.

Station master RP Bhagotia confirmed the derailment. "We are yet to ascertain the injuries. A railways relief team has been rushed to the site," Bhagotia said.

The CPI (Maoists) also set on fire a truck near Raham More of Chatra district.

However, police suspected a gang of criminals in grab of the Maoist bandh torched the truck of Shankar Sao of Chepa village in Tandwa.

The CPI (Maoists) have demanded a thorough probe by an independent agency into the killings.

The bandh also paralysed coal and passenger traffic across the state, especially in district's bordering Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

Police have intensified patrolling and police stations have been put on high alert after a tip-off that Maoists who fled the Nawada encounter on Monday had crossed over into Jharkhand’s Palamu or Chatra districts.

A similar order was passed for districts bordering Chhattisgarh to keep a check on Maoists movement along the borders of the two states.

A general manager of the Central Coalfields Limited's (CCL) Dhori coalmine area said, “Transportation of coal was hit even though production continued in the mines.”

Coal and ash transportation was also affected in Chandrapura Thermal Power Station.

In Latehar and Palamu, the National Highway 75 and 99 wore a deserted look.

The operations at JSMDC Sikni Coal Project, CCL's Teteriakhad colliery in Latehar and NTPC, Magadh and Amrapali coal projects in Chatra district were also affected. Dispatch of bauxite from Hidalco's Tori railway siding was also hit.

Jharkhand police spokesperson SN Pradhan said, "No incident has been reported. The police are keeping a tight vigil and patrolling has been increased."

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