Chakulia/Midnapore, Dec. 10: A second chapter was added to Singur’s Naxalite link today when 25 armed rebels raided a Kharagpur-bound local train in Jharkhand shouting slogans against farmland acquisition for the Tata Motors factory.
The attackers, who carried carbines and pistols, did not harm the passengers but robbed two Railway Protection Force jawans of their rifles, throwing one of them out of the train when he resisted.
The attack on the Tatanagar-Kharagpur Passenger came around 10.15 am minutes after it had left Chakulia station — about 110 km from Kharagpur — where some people had stuck posters warning the Bengal government not to snatch farmers’ land in Singur.
The posters bore the name of the SUCI, a party to the December 2 farmer-police skirmish at Singur spearheaded by the CPI (Maoist).
Passengers said two young men, who had boarded the coach next to the guard’s room, attacked the two RPF jawans guarding the railway cash box.
“One pulled the chain and the other tried to snatch the jawans’ rifles,” a passenger said. “When the jawans resisted, the other man pulled out a carbine from under his black shawl and hit them with the butt.”
As the train stopped, 20-odd armed rebels climbed in. They snatched the walkie-talkies of the guard and the driver and left after war- ning that the tracks were mined. A bomb squad check found none and the train started after about five hours.
A. Das, the jawan thrown onto the tracks, is in hospital with severe head injuries. His colleague R.N. Hansda, too, needed treatment.
Senior RPF officer A.N. Sinha said the objective of the raid was to snatch weapons. “They didn’t touch the cash box, nor try to harm the passengers.”