Railways property worth ₹90 crore damaged in anti-CAA protests
Indian Railways have lost property worth ₹90 crore, with Eastern Railways--mostly spread across West Bengal—alone accounting for 80% of those losses pegged at ₹72.19 crore, during the country-wide anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the past ten days, said a top Railways Protection Force (RPF) official.
South Eastern Railways was second with property losses worth ₹12.75 crore, followed by North Eastern Frontier Railways that lost ₹2.98 crore in damages.
“West Bengal has been the worst because the Eastern Railways largely falls in the state, the total loss there alone has been ₹72.19 crore,” said RPF DG Arun Kumar.
He said Howrah, Sealdah and Malda divisions were the most affected in Bengal, where the attacks on railway property intensified after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s rally against the CAA.
“Things are much better now, it got the most violent when the West Bengal CM took out a rally. There has been no violence in Bengal after that,” Kumar said.
Railways have filed a total of 85 FIRs for the violent incidents that also led to injuries to a dozen employees.
“There are people who have been identified through the videos of the violence and we have registered FIRs against them.” Kumar said.
Kumar said 2200 additional security personnel had been deployed to the North East where the first anti-CAA protests broke out resulting in damage to railway properties after the amended act was passed in Parliament on December 11.
Chabua railway station in Assam’s Dibrugarh was set on fire the same night followed by the Panitola railway station in Tinsukia district.
Kumar said overall 40 major trains have been suspended in view of the violence and rail services in Tinsukia, Lumding and major part of Rangiya division of the Northeast Frontier Railways were in complete suspension. Train services beyond Guwahati were also not in operation.
Four people have died Guwahati so far in the police firing on violent protests.