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Maoists gun down RPF man - Rebels trigger serial blasts on CIC section to trap pilot engine in failed arms loot bid

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By SHASHANK SHEKHAR
  • Published 21.06.11
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Bokaro, June 20: An armed squad of over 70 Maoists blasted railway tracks to trap a pilot engine with two Railway Protection Force policemen, gunning down one of them to loot weapons, but had to retreat empty-handed as the securitymen were unarmed.

Timed meticulously, the blasts were triggered around 4.15am when the engine and a lone bogie attached to it were between Dumri-Bihar and Dania railway stations, 98km from Bokaro steel city, on the busy CIC section of the Dhanbad railway division.

The patrol engine was on a routine recce of the tracks on the route that is used by several passenger trains, including the Howrah-Gwalior Shaktipunj Express, Barkakana-Choupan Express, Barkakana-Gomoh Express, and more than three dozen goods trains bound for Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

According to senior PRO Amrendra Das, the RPF policeman killed was identified as Anil Kumar Rai. His colleague, B. Chand, along with engine driver S. Mahto and his assistant N. Mehta were also injured.

Das said it took around five hours for the tracks to be cleared. However, only the Gomoh Passenger train and a few goods trains had to be cancelled.

Sources said the Maoists had planted explosives at short intervals on the tracks. The first blast was triggered as soon as the engine crossed Dumri-Bihar station. This way access to the RPF men was blocked from the Chandrapura side.

When the engine was around 5km away from Dania station, the rebels triggered another blast to ensure no help could come from Barkakana side.

Soon after, the rebels hurled petrol bombs at the engine which had already derailed. Then they fired on Anil Kumar Rai, killing him on the spot and turned to his colleague, B. Chand, who apparently introduced himself as a CCL employee on urgent official work.

The Maoists weren’t convinced. They shot him, too, injuring him in the leg. The two engine drivers were spared by the rebels. But, they suffered injuries when the engine was thrown off the tracks in the impact of the blast.

The three were sent to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi.

Dhanbad railway SP P.K. Srivastav explained that usually only a few unarmed RPF men accompanied patrol engines on routine missions. “Hence, only two RPF men were on board,” he said.

Dhanbad DRM A.S. Upadhaya expressed concern over the incident. “The railways with the help of RPF and district police have been trying their best to provide security to passengers in the CIC section, which has always been a soft target of the Maoists,” he said.