A day after top police officials of Kerala received threat mails, the braking system of a passenger train was found tampered with in Shornur in North Kerala and a packet of explosive materials was recovered from an express train in Alapuzha district.
The mail originating from the UAE claimed that leaders of a particular community were being harassed by the National Investigation Agency and that three major cities of the state -- Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram – would be targeted unless the harassment was stopped immediately.
In the first incident, vacuum pipes of the Shornur-Nilambur passenger train were found cut off. The damage caused to the pipes, which form part of the braking system linking all compartments, was noticed when the engine driver was about to start the train. “It is a clear case of sabotage. If it was unnoticed, it would have resulted in a major mishap,” a senior railway official said in Palakkad.
According to the police, it is not easy to sever strong hosepipes and that modern gadgets would have used to damage the braking system. The train had come from Shornur on Wednesday night and halted at Nilambur. Minister of State for Railways E. Ahamed has ordered a probe into the matter.
In another development, passengers of the Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram Vanchinad Express noticed a plastic packet containing detonators and explosive materials and alerted the police. Soon, the train was detained at Mavelikkara station and searched thoroughly. State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the state government viewed both incidents seriously.