Security for trains passing Maoist areas to be upgraded


Kolkata : Concerned over the daring attack on the Bhubaneswar-Delhi Rajdhani Express by Maoist-backed agitators, it has been decided to upgrade security in trains and intensify vigilance around tracks in strongholds of the left rebels, officials said Wednesday.

Support TwoCircles

“Yes, security will be enhanced. We will not allow any repeat of yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) incident. But I cannot divulge operational details,” Additional Director General (Railway Police) Dilip Mitra told IANS Wednesday.

The West Bengal government and the railways are holding high-level meetings Wednesday to review security for trains following Tuesday’s incident when the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) held up the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express for more than four hours at Banstala Halt near West Midnapore’s Jhargram station.

The general managers of the South Eastern Railway and the Eastern Railway were among those present at the security review meeting.

Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty has convened another meeting at the state secretariat Writers’ Buildings later in the afternoon. Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen and senior state police officers, including Director General of Police Bhupinder Singh, will be present at the meeting that is expected to discuss measures to heighten security for trains, passengers and railway staff.

Demanding withdrawal of the joint security forces engaged in flushing out Maoists from the Lalgarh region in West Midnapore and release of some of their arrested leaders, around 500 PCAPA members had held up the prestigious superfast express train by squatting on the tracks and forcing out the drivers at the Halt station near the Antapani jungle.

After several tension-filled hours, that saw a police team proceeding to the spot ambushed by the Left wing rebels, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and state policemen finally took over the train around 7 p.m.

All the passengers were safe.

The Maoists have strong bases in 18 police station areas spread over three western districts – West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia – of the state. Recently, the state government decided to upscale security of 12 other police stations, which are also vulnerable to attacks by the leftwing ultras.