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Red attack delays trains

Gaya, March 21: Suspected Maoists blew up a section of the railway tracks between Guraru and Paraiya stations in the early hours of Saturday disrupting schedules of several trains, including the Rajdhani and the Jammu Tawi expresses.

The blast that damaged about 4 feet of the track occurred minutes after a goods train had passed. The result was that the power traction was snapped leading to several trains being diverted on both the up and down tracks. A live bomb was also found on the tracks. Restoration work was delayed due to the late arrival of the bomb disposal squad.

The Maoists were observing a bandh today to protest against the arrest of Sanjeevan Baitha, the self-styled zonal commander of the CPI(Maoist), and Basanti, a woman activist of the rebel outfit. They were nabbed a few days ago.

Gaya superintendent of police (SP) M.R. Naik said a live can bomb weighing about 10kg was found near the site of the blast. “The bomb has been removed safely and it will be diffused only after the permission of the chief judicial magistrate as it is an exhibit in the case,” said the SP.

Naik said, according to his information, some of the Maoists had been injured while planting the explosives on the track and the police would try to locate them. Movement of trains remained suspended on all important sections for about 14 hours. According to the railway area manager, S. Bhattacharya, both the up and down tracks were operational by 3pm. Dozens of trains including the Rajdhani Express, Kalka Mail, Chambal Express, Jammu Tawi Express and Ludhiana Express had to be diverted either through Garhwa Road, Muri section, or the main line passing through the state capital. The Gaya-bound Mahabodhi Express has been delayed by about 12 hours.

According to reports reaching the district headquarters, the rebel-sponsored bandh had a crippling effect on the rural areas of Sherghati and Tekari sub-divisions. But, Naik said that everything was normal.

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