Gaya Blast: Maoists wanted to Blow up Rajdhani Express, not Railway Track

The Friday night blast on the railway track, 25 km from Gaya in Bihar, carried out by Maoists was actually to target the Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani Express.

The expolision took place just 20 minutes after the pilot engine of the Express train passed the railway track between Taraiya and Guraru station around 11 pm. The Rajdhani Express was halted at the Taraiya station, Gaya Railway DSP Sunil Kumar. The pilot engine was damaged, as per reports.

Since the 2003 Howrah-Delhi Rajdhani accident in Aurangabad, where over 100 people died, Indian Railways started running pilot engines ahead of the trains. Pilot engines run with a gap of an hour ahead of the trains.

There are no casualties reported but the traffic on the Gaya-Mugalsari railway line, part of the East Central Railway, has been disrupted since the blast. Trains on the way to Delhi, the Bhubaneshwar-Delhi Rajdhani and Sealdah-Delhi Rajdhani, were stuck at Gaya Railway station.

Moreover, all trains between New Delhi and West Bengal capital Kolkata passing through the Gaya Grand Chord have been reportedly stopped till the track is repaired.

Senior railway officials have reached the blast site for repair work, the DSP told RailNews. The naxals have called for a strike on Saturday. Bihar home ministry has yet to respond on the incident.

The Maoist groups are spread across a third of 600 districts in India. Just over two months ago, they struck a deadly landmine attack in Chhattisgarh, killing the former home minister of the state Mahendra Karma and at least 27 others.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has a separate Naxal Management Division (NMD) to counter left-wing extremism (LWE) in the country. And according to NMD, Bihar is among the states severely affected by LWE groups.

In 2013 alone, India experienced 391 violent attacks, 75 in Bihar, by such LWE groups. Last year, there were 166 such violent incidents in Bihar.