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Track sabotage whiff

Jan. 5: A portion of a rail track that prevents derailment was reported missing by two employees on a river bridge in Jalpaiguri’s Nagrakata last night, sparking fears of sabotage and delaying several trains in the Dooars.

Around 11 last night, two railway employees inspecting the tracks on the bridge over the Diana river between Carron and Banarhat stations noticed that a 22ft-long stretch of the tie-angle — an angular rod bolted beside the tracks on bridges to prevent derailment and reduce jerking — was missing. Twelve pairs of nuts and bolts were also not found.

Bijendra Kumar, the divisional railway manager of Alipurduar division, said: “We are not ruling out the chances of sabotage but it is too early to comment. We have started a probe.”

Several extremist groups are active in the Dooars.