The detention of the New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express and taking its two drivers "hostage" leading to a five-hour crisis on Tuesday was carefully planned by the Maoists, a senior security official claimed.
"This is not a sudden reaction by agitators but was very carefully planned with 25 armed Maoists guiding the agitators to block the tracks forcing the Rajdhani to halt at Banstala halt in West Midnapore district," the senior CRPF officer, who was involved in anti-Maoist operations in West Midnapore district, told PTI over phone from Banstala.
Around 2000 supporters of the People's Committee Against Police Atrocities gathered at Pirakati just beside Banstala on the instruction of Maoists, he said.
Last night Maoists, including seven to eight women, visited the villages like Panisole, Pirakati, Nolbona and Tubrubhola and ordered the vilagers to be present, the official claimed adding "they warned that villagers who stayed away would be hauled up in a people's court and punished".
At around 2:00 pm, the agitators stopped a goods train blocking the down line.
Forty five minutes later when the Rajdhani Express came into sight, they waved red flags.