Train services on the Howrah- Mumbai main line via Tatanagar station were hampered for several hours on Saturday following a track blast allegedly by CPI- Maoist rebels between Lotapahar and Sonua in South Eastern Railway's Chakradharpur division in the wee hours. of
The rebel outfit had called a Bharat Bandh call on Saturday which came into effect from midnight. The bandh call was given as a mark of protest against the recent arrest of CPI- Maoist leader and politburo member Prashant Bose, his wife and four others.
The blast occurred on the up line between Lotapahar and Sonua railway stations near Chakradharpur Chakradharpur in West Singhbhum district at around 2 am.
"Portions of railway track were found from the blast site. No casualties were reported" said a railway official in Chakradharpur. In all, eight mail and express trains and several freight trains were halted at different stations till the service resumed following restoration work at around 9 am.
The Mumbai- Howrah Mail, the Howrah bound Ahmedabad Express and Mumbai - Howrah Geetanjali Express were among other trains which were disrupted at Sonua, Chakradharpur, Sini and Rourkela stations.
The restoration work was completed jointly by the district police, bomb detection and disposal squad, Railway Protection Force ( RPF )and railway trackmen. Railway cops also recovered Maoist posters from the spot.
Railway sources informed that the timing of explosion suggests Maoists had apparently zeroed in on the Howrah-Mumbai Mail that passes through Chakradharpur at around 2 am.
Tatanagar station director H K Balmuchu said Geetanjali Express, Howrah- bound Mumbai Mail and Ahmedabad Express reached several hours late at Tatanagar railway station, much to the inconvenience of passengers. He said the train services in the route normalised after 10 am.