Maoists Blast Railway Track; Rajdhani Express Has Close Shave

It was perhaps the sheer luck that the Ranchi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, soon after it passed Latehar district of Jharkhand, had a narrow escape on Monday morning when Maoists blasted a railway track there.

The rebels blew up a railway track and exploded mobile phone towers in Jharkhand in two separate incidences.

“Maoist rebels blew up the track around 6:30 a.m. on Monday and Rajdhani Express luckily had crossed from the same route at 5:30 a.m.” Ambrish Gupta, Public Relations Officer of Dhanbad railway division, was quoted as saying by IANS. “Train services have resumed after repair work,” he added.

Police said that activists of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) blasted the railway track between Kumundi and Hehegada railway station in Latehar district, located some 140 km from Ranchi. Following explosion, railway services were affected for about four hours on the route.

Earlier, on Sunday night, in another incidence, Maoists rebels blew up mobile phone towers of BSNL and Reliance at Tukbera village of Palamau district, around 190 km from Ranchi. In the blast, no one was injured. Around 20 to 30 CPI-Maoist rebels blew up the towers.

The CPI-Maoist has called a two-day strike in five states – Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh – to protest the arrest of Anil Kumar, a CPI-Maoist politburo member and Kartik, a central committee member.

Maoist guerrillas are active in 18 of the 24 districts of Jharkhand. Nearly 1,500 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years.

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