Boulders Placed on Tracks: Alert Locopilot averts Major Accident near Mallaghatta on Bangalore-Tumkur Rail Line

The Railway police arrested Md.Rafique, Md.Shafi and Md.Iqbal from Hirisave village for instigating the villagers in Kannada language to place boulders on the tracks.

BANGALORE: An alert locopilot of a speeding train applied sudden brakes after noticing boulders on tracks and averted a major accident on the newly laid rail line near Mallaghatta in Kunigal taluk of Tumakuru district on Thursday.

The incident happened when Commissioner of Railway Safety and over 200 South Western Railway (SWR) officials, mainly from the technical wing, were inspecting the new rail line and conducting a trial run in the train fitted with 10 coaches.

A group of residents from Mallaghatta village had placed boulders on the tracks to draw the attention to their demand for a railway underpass in the village. The rail line passes through Mallaghatta. The villagers had earlier staged a protest, seeking an underpass in the village.

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The SWR had sanctioned a foot-over-bridge and the work had started a few months ago. But it was stalled midway. After they learnt of the trial run on Thursday, over 200 villagers placed boulders on the tracks to draw the attention of the officials.

The Railway police arrested Md.Rafique, Md.Shafi and Md.Iqbal from Hirisave for instigating the villagers in Kannada language to place boulders on the tracks. The arrested were produced in a court which remanded them in judicial custody.

SWR chief engineer S K Jain said in Bengaluru that railway officials were alerted about the placing of boulders, over phone.

“The train was moving at a speed of 90 kmph but we stopped nearly 200 metres away from the spot, thanks to the tip-off,” he said.

Jain said such behaviour is shocking. “When there is a demand, there is a proper channel to communicate it. Instigating villagers to place boulders on tracks is not the way. We told the villagers to make a presentation and we will take it up with the higher authorities,” he said.

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