Dhanbad: Suspected Maoists triggered three blasts on railway tracks in Bokaro during their protest week that concluded on Tuesday, underlining loopholes in security in Dhanbad division’s CIC section that continues to be a soft target of Naxalites.
Rebels blew up two concrete sleepers of the tracks and set fire to the diesel engine of a goods train near Dumri Vihar station on October 6.
They struck again and triggered a blast on the rails between Jageshwar Vihar and Dania on Monday and blew up a portion of the tracks between Dania and Dumri on Tuesday.
All the three blasts took place on a 30km-long stretch of single line between Gomia and Jageshwar Vihar, disrupting railway services for hours on every occasion.
Sources said there had been over two dozen blasts in the past seven years, especially during Maoist bandhs, on the stretch despite sustained anti-Naxalite operations across Bokaro district.
According to police, the railway tracks between Gomia and Jagehswar Vihar pass through forested and hilly terrains. Besides, there is no proper road to allow security forces to maintain a proper vigil on the railway property.
“The Naxalites use the topography cleverly to strike at will and escape without being challenged by the police. The three back-to-back attacks have given a clear signal to security forces and the administration that the CIC section still remains vulnerable,” said a senior police officer.
Public relations officer, Dhanbad division, Sanjay Prasad agreed that the CIC section was definitely vulnerable to extremist attacks. “Time and again, railway property has been attacked on the CIC section, especially during Maoist bandhs. The railways and the government must take steps to check this menace,” Prasad added.
Bokaro SP Y.S. Ramesh said it was not possible to deploy security personnel all along the 30km-long stretch. “The only way is to spot Naxalites hiding in the area with the help of local intelligence and pre-empt attacks,” the SP said. He added Naxalites would soon be taken to task.
The commandant of the 26th battalion of CRPF, A.K. Singh, said the topography provided rebels an easy escape route. “We are working out a new strategy to protect the railway property and thwart Maoist design,” he added.