Irked over Railways decision withdrawing halt of a few trains in Bihar’s Khusrpur station, protestor set three trains ablaze in succession in Khusrpur and Fathua. In addition, they rummaged through Khusrpur station, rooting out rail lines under Danapur division.
Protestors targeted the Shramjeevi Express in Khusrpur to start with and torched two bogies of the train. At same time, four bogies of the Danapur-Rajgir were set on fire.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Government Railway Police (Patna East) Rajendra Singh, an angry mob of people from abutting villages set the train on fire and then trooped in the Khusrupur railway station in the morning. They ransacked the station and burnt it down, he said.
Identically, irate commuters in Fathua, near Patna railway station, gheraoed the tracks in the morning and compelled the Danapur-Jainagar Intercity Express to a stop. Then, after making all passengers get off the train, they burnt some of its coaches.
Barring a few minor injuries to the railway staff, no causalities or injuries have been reported from any of the incidents. Police and additional forces have been rushed to control the situation.
Ironically, the reaction of the people came three days after the new Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee gave instructions to withdraw stoppage at non-profit destinations. Though the decision angered people of all affected places but strong reaction from Bihar is perhaps due to the fact that the state has lost a privileged status which it enjoyed during the tenure of former railway minister Lau Prasad Yadav who hails from Bihar.
The incidences disrupted at least 10 major trains on Delhi-Patna route and thousands of passengers have been left high-and-dry due to disruption of services on trunk routes.
Interestingly, the railway has rescinded its decision over the halt of trains following the incidents. Informing of the decision CPRO of East-Central Railway AK Chandra said, “The Shramjeevi Express will now halt at its previous destinations.”
He also informed that all the passengers are safe and the train services will be restored in a few hours.
However, Mamata Banerjee has denied role in the withdrawal of stoppages. She said, “I didn’t order halts to be discontinued.
The minister accused the railway officials of projecting the information in a wrong way and said, “I will haul up rail officials in Patna.”