Rebel lasses blow up railway tracks

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  • Published 11.07.08

Jamui, July 11: Trains came to a standstill from last night after Maoists blasted a portion of Kiul-Jamalpur loop section of Eastern Railway and portions of Howrah-Patna main section during a bandh in eastern Bihar — all in 12 hours.

The bandh was to protest the recent arrest of self-styled Maoist area commander Dipak Das, alias Kamalesh, by Jamui police on July 7 from Sakul village.

Hundreds of passengers remained stranded in dozens of trains on this route after they came to a grinding halt at various places in Bihar and Jharkhand. Jhajha town remained deserted as business establishments were closed. Reports from Munger, Lakhisari and Banka stated that the bandh had affected normal life in the rural parts of the district. Owners pulled off their vehicles from roads.

The events rolled to its climax this afternoon when the red army made a second attempt to damage the tracks after last night. A group of armed men and women in police uniforms damaged the up and down tracks of Howrah-Patna main section of Eastern Railway between Narganjo and Ghorparahan stations.

Last night, the rebels had damaged the down track on this section in between Ghorparahan-Simultalla stations, some 10-12km from Jamui. “The rebels were carrying weapons and bombs. The women carried out the operation, while the men kept a watch. Once the operation was over they disappeared into the Battiya forests,” an eyewitness stated. The second blast occurred around 12.20pmtoday, soon after railway personnel had repaired the tracks. Jamui superintendent of police Vinay Kumar was at the site when the tracks were being repaired.

The 3288 (down) South Bihar Express and 2352 (down) Danapur-Howrah Express that started off from Jhajha around 10.45am this morning escaped a major mishap.

Last night, the rebels also damaged tracks between Abhaypur-Kazra on Kiul-Jamalpur loop section. Villagers of Ghoghi Bariarpur in Lakhisari said a group of 80-odd rebels came from a southern direction to carry out the operation.

Around 12.10am last night, the red army raided Lakshmipur police station located beside Bhimbandh wildlife sanctuary some 21km from Jamui headquarters. They demolished a portion of the office by a powerful explosion.

Till filing of the report, work was going on to repair the damaged tracks.

Officials claimed that traffic would be restored soon.