CPI(Maoist) ultras blow up part of Howrah-Mumbai rail track in Jharkhand
Suspected members of outlawed outfit CPI (Maoist) blew up about a metre of railway track on the Howrah-Mumbai main line between Sonua and Lotapahar stations under Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway (SER) in West Singhbhum district in the wee hours of Monday, officials said.
“Around 2.15am Monday, Station Manager of Sonua received information that in between Lotapahar and Sonua stations at km 322/19-23 Loco Pilot of N BOST/KAV (Goods Train) found heavy jerk on Up line. Following this, all movement in the Rourkela-Chakradharpur section is being immediately stopped and eight mail express/passengers trains and several goods trains are controlled at different stations as a security measure,” Manish Kumar Pathak, senior divisional commercial manager (Sr DCM), Chakradharpur division of SER, said.
The incident took place during a day-long Bharat Bandh called by Maoists on Monday in support of the ongoing farmers’ protests. The Maoists alleged suppression of people’s movement by the government, as stated in the banners, pamphlets and posters splashed near the blast site
It brought train movement on the Howrah-Mumbai main Up line to a standstill for hours. Besides, hundreds of lives were saved as Geetanjali Express and Ahemdabad-Howrah special Covid-19 Express were to pass through the track.
Pathak said patrolling teams were sent for inspection with security personnel, while a Railways team reached the indicated jerk site with RPF and State Police and started investigation.
“During investigation of the site, it was found that the Up main line track was sabotaged and blasted rail piece flowed around 35 metres from the site. Restoration work was immediately started after getting security clearance. Down line was given fit around 7.15am the third line around 8.35am. Movement over the lines has resumed,” said Pathak.
After necessary clearance and fitness from all departments, train movement was restored in Up line between Sonua -Lotapahar section around 9.35am. The train movement over Chakrdharpur and Rourkela section was also normalised. Junior Administrative Grade inquiry was also ordered by the Railways.
Earlier on Sunday last, Maoists splashed posters, banners and pamphlets calling for Bharat Bandh in areas under Sonua police station, Lotapahar and other areas in the district.
Maoists’ IED blast bid foiled
In yet another incident, police and CRPF joint team foiled a Maoist land mine blast bid at Rengarbera village under Goilkera police station in West Singhbhum district Monday.
“A team of CRPF along with bomb detection and disposal squad ) of Jharkhand Jaguar recovered an IED planted under a Flag pole on Rebgarbera-Arahasa road. They safely blasted the IED, which otherwise could have inflicted major damage to forces and villagers,” Sudhir Kumar, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), said.