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Agitators block rail tracks after train knocks down cyclist in Bengal

Protesters alleged that 38-year-old Alam Khan lay bleeding on the tracks for a while, and could have been saved if the authorities had bothered to take him to a hospital. A number of trains were delayed due to the agitation.

kolkata Updated: Jun 22, 2018 20:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Agitation,Rail blockade,Indian railways
Railway officials said local residents pelted stones at stranded trains during the agitation, which went on for about four hours. (HT File Photo)

Thousands of passengers were inconvenienced when local residents blocked railway tracks at Mecheda in Bengal’s East Midnapore district after a train knocked down a man on Friday morning.

The accident occurred around 7.40 am near Mecheda station in the South-Eastern Railway sector. The victim – 38-year-old Alam Khan – was hit by the train while he was trying to cross the tracks on a bicycle.

Local residents alleged that Khan lay bleeding on the tracks for a while, and could have been saved if the authorities had bothered to take him to a hospital.

Officials said local residents pelted stones at stranded trains during the agitation, which went on for about four hours. The railway authorities were eventually forced to seek the state government’s help to disperse the protesters.

“A number of local and long-distance trains, including the Howrah-Mumbai Duronto, Falaknuma Express, Tamralipta Express, Coromandel Express, Howrah-Purulia Express and Steel Express, were delayed,” said Sanjay Ghosh, chief public relations officer of the South-Eastern Railway. The effects of the blockade will last for hours because a number of trains had to be rescheduled, he added.

Confusion prevailed among the passengers, who were allegedly made to wait for hours without any prior intimation. “No announcement was made because we didn’t know how long the blockade would continue,” said Ghosh, adding that the state government will take action against protesters who threw stones at the stranded trains.

Alam Khan was a resident of Kolaghat in East Midnapore district.

Protesters had blocked rail tracks in this sector to protest the Kathua and Unnao sexual assault cases on April 20 too, delaying trains and inconveniencing lakhs of commuters.

First Published: Jun 22, 2018 20:55 IST