After a brief lull, armed guerrillas of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) attacked a train between Kazra and Jamalpur railway stations under Malda division of Eastern Railway on Thursday evening and looted four police rifles, besides 100 cartridge, after killing a Government Railway Police (GRP) constable.
Another policeman and four passengers, who were travelling by Bhagalpur-Muzaffarpur Janseva Express (3419 Up), were also injured in the attack, which was carried out by a group of 30-40 Maoists at around 4.30 pm near Ghoghi Bariarpur railway halt between Kazra and Abhaypur railway stations.
Additional Director General (headquarters) Neelmani confirmed the death of one policeman and said special task force personnel, stationed at Munger and Jamui, had rushed to the spot.
Neelmani said IG (operations) S K Bhardwaj and Munger DIG Brigu Srinivasan had been asked to rush to the spot with reinforcements. Additional police force from adjoining districts had also been sent, he added.
The deceased constable has been identified as Ganesh Prasad Singh. Those injured in the attack are Sunil Kumar Singh, Ramakant Choudhary, Dharmendra Kumar Singh and Jainendra Kumar Singh, They are undergoing treatment at a private nursing home at Lakhisarai. Railway sources said the escort party, which was travelling in the compartment adjacent to the engine, was the main target of the Maoists who had stopped the train after pulling the chain near pole number 382/14.
Maoists, the sources said, also barged into the engine cabin and assaulted driver Ganesh Singh and assistant driver Jaishankar Kumar. The drivers told the police that the attackers also took away their walkie-talkie and cellphones.
The firing by Maoists created panic among the railway passengers. The train was later taken to Kazra railway station where the injured passengers were provided first aid. The movement of trains on Kiul-Bhagalpur section remained paralysed for nearly two hours after the incident.
Sources at the police headquarters here said the Maoists had pasted pamphlets at Jamalpur railway station a few days ago, threatening to blow up tracks and railway stations.
Notably, at least two such incidents were reported from the same spot a few years ago. Railway track was blown up by Maoists near Kazra railway station in 2005 and 2006. Earlier, a GRP railway station was also attacked and firearms were looted.
Two RPF personnel were killed and their firearms looted by the Maoists in a running train in Jamui district last year. Besides, the Maoists had attacked Jhajha railway station about a year ago and looted 45 police firearms from the armoury after killing five persons, including an assistant sub inspector.
The incident assumes significance in the wake of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad’s plan to visit Jamalpur railway workshop on December 29.