October 21, 2020

Loot puts glare on rail safety

Munger/Jhajha (Jamui): Dozens of passengers travelling on the 18621 down Patna-Hatia Patliputra Express were robbed of their ornaments and cash between Bhalui and Kundar halt stations on the Patna-Kiul-Jamui-Aasansol section at 7pm on Tuesday evening, around 148km from Patna.

“When passengers didn’t lodge an FIR, the government railway police (Jhajha) lodged an FIR on the written report of the travelling ticket examiner Amit Kumar,” Kirpa Sagar, inspector, GRP (Jhajha) said.

“I was beaten with pistol butts. I received injuries on my forehead. I was given first-aid treatment in my compartment at Jhajha railway station. They also damaged the glass panes of the windows,” said Jitendra Singh, a resident of Mahnar village of Samastipur district.

“I am in an official meeting, talk to me later,” SRP (Jamalpur), said.

The robbery also exposed the defunct railway safety system. Security agencies like the government railway police (GRP) which has the responsibility to escort running trains don’t have adequate manpower. The escort party members inside the running trains don’t have any weapons on this section owing to fear of Maoists. The train reached Bhalui halt at 7.05pm on Tuesday and departed at 7.06pm. It’s next stop was Jamui, located some 9km away but it reached Jamui around 8.08pm.

“After the train departed Bhalui halt, armed criminals numbering 40-45, targeted passengers inside the AC compartments and snatched away their belongings,” said Amit Kumar, chief ticket inspector, and Pappu Kumar Choudhary, a ticket checker.

The driver and guard of the train informed the Danapur division about pelting of stones by unknown persons. CPRO, ECR, Hajipur, Rajesh Kumar, confirmed the news.

“Since there was GRP escort party on the train so it was presumed that it was their responsibility to control the situation,” he said.

Rajesh couldn’t reply as to what measure was initiated by the railway administration when the train covered only 9km from Bhalui to Jamui in an hour’s time.

The train which departed from Jamui at 8.29pm, reached Jhajha at 9pm but the medical team reached the injured around 9.30pm.

A retired railway personnel, Jitendar Prasad Singh, who was travelling on the train, sustained head injuries at the hands of the goons, alleged that he bled a lot owing to medical aid reaching late.

“Why was the railways late in arranging a medical team? It had one hour in hand to get a medical team ready at Jhajha,” said Arvind Kumar, another injured passenger.

“I don’t have any such information, let me check,” said CPRO Rajesh.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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