Railways starts train movement in violence hit Assam


Guwahati : The railways Wednesday started the movement of freight trains and expected soon to resume passenger train services, suspended for more than 48 hours due to the communal violence in Assam’s Kokrajhar and Chirang districts, an official said.

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While the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) authorities have already started moving the goods trains from Wednesday morning, they are expecting to move the passenger trains by the evening.

“We have started movement of freight trains from 11.25 a.m. today (Wednesday) and hope to start movement of passenger trains soon,” NF Railway chief operating officer Mukul Marwah told IANS Wednesday.

“We hope the normal movement of trains will resume in next 12 to 14 hours,” he said.

Marwah admitted the Bodoland violence was one of the worst ever crisis situations faced by the NF Railway – the only rail line that connects the northeastern states with the mainland of the country.

The NFR had stopped movement of all trains as they had to pass through the violence-affected areas and attacks on trains and passengers were feared. “A total of 36 trains had been halted at various stations, carrying over 35,000 passengers,” Marwah said.

“However, with the army already staging a flag march in the violence affected districts today (Wednesday), we have started moving the freight trains. Passenger trains are expected to leave soon and we hope that the regular movement will start very soon,” said Marwah.

“We have also sent railway’s Special Protection Force to the violence affected areas to ensure safety and security of the passengers. The state police and other forces have already been helping the railways,” he said.

“The situation turned bad after we had to close down some small stations in the stretch between Srirampur to Dangtal in Kokrajhar district. These are small stations with very few staffs and they had to be closed down after the reports of violence spread,” he said.