Sabotage attempts on tracks to derail trains continue to plague the Indian Railways with detection of four more such cases in just two days causing serious concern for safety of rail operation. On the eve of India’s Republic Day, four Train mishaps were averted near (1) Diva in Mumbai Division; (2) between Koderma-Maheshpur in Dhanbad Division, 3) between Bariarpur-Ratanour in Malda Division and (4) Near Hajipur in Bihar.
New Delhi: Sabotage attempts on tracks to derail trains continue to plague the Railways with detection of three more such cases today causing serious concern for safety of rail operation and narrow escape of major accidents.
Cases of man-made obstructions were discovered at Malda and Dhanbad divisions by alert railway staff in time, thereby averting major derailments, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
According to the official, the loco pilot of a passenger train detected fish plates missing between Koderma and Maheshpur under Nawalshahi police station and stopped the train averting accident at Dhanbad division.
Rail traffic was stopped for three hours and an FIR has been lodged in the matter.
In the second incident, fittings were found missing on the track between Bariarpur and Ratanour in Malda division.
After the detection, train movement was stopped and it was resumed only after the replacement of fittings, he said adding an FIR has also been lodged in the matter.
In another incident, a major mishap was averted on January 24 after an alert Jan Shatabdi Express loco pilot stopped the train spotting a 15-feet rail piece on the track near Diwa in Mumbai. Central railway authorities suspect that it is a case of sabotage. General Manager D.K Sharma confirmed such a possibility and said a probe has been ordered
On January 23, another possible train accident was averted at Hajipur in Bihar due to an alert patrolling team of the Railways. Two stone slabs that were placed on the track were detected in time and removed. Attempt to sabotage railway tracks averted but goons escaped – the incident came to light when two patrolmen came across two long stone slabs, measuring one meter each, on the UP line track. When they tried to remove the slabs they were set upon by the goons who had placed them on the railway track.
Any laxity on part of Railway staff would have led to major accident due to sabotage on railway track. However the same was averted at 00:20 am of 24 Jan while two patrolmen were carrying out patrolling of railway track between Dalsighsarai and Sathajagat in Samastipur district. It was during the patrolling that they found two long stone slabs, measuring one meter each, on the UP line track on minor bridge number 20 between the two station. The Railway patrolmen identifying the stone slabs were trying to remove the stone slabs when around 3 to 4 people, who were hiding in the nearby bushes, came out and started abusing them. When the goons started assaulting them, both the patrolmen fled from the spot and informed the nearby RPF post, GRP and local police.
Soon they returned to the spot with engineering staffs, RPF, GRP and local police at 01:22 am and the stone slabs were removed by 01:44 am. During this time period, movement of 13420 Muzaffarpur-Bhagalpur Intercity was disrupted. The goons who were involved in the incident managed to escape.
Central intelligence agencies have been roped in to investigate the incident in which a long piece of rail was found lying on the tracks between Diva and Mumbra railway stations. A major tragedy was averted on Tuesday (January 24) when drivers of an express train applied emergency brakes after noticing a rail piece lying horizontally on the tracks.
“Railway employees saved so many lives due to their alertness and now it is in the hands of the investigating agencies to find out who was behind this. We are hoping that it will be found out soon,” Central Railway General Manager DK Shama said.
In the last 24 hours many people who live and work in the area have been questioned though investigators did not confirm if they have any leads as of now. The area where the incident took place is uninhabited and the nearest habited village Agasan is over a kilometre away.
“GRP and RPF teams have been questioning people around the area to get more information. We have also informed central intelligence agencies and I am co-ordinating with all teams to see if we can get anything substantial on this,”Atul Shrivastav, Chief Security Commissioner, Central Railway, said.
“Investigations are being done keeping all possible angles in consideration, it could be sabotage or mischief. Whatever it is, it can be found out only when the perpetrators are caught. We are hoping we will get some lead soon,” added GRP Commissioner Niket Kaushik.
WHAT HAPPENED ON JANUARY 24
12052 Jan Shatabdi Express started from Madgaon on Tuesday at 2.30 pm and was to reach Mumbai at around 11pm.
Just when the train was approaching Diva station loco pilot Harendra Kumar, who was at the command, spotted a long rail piece lying on the tracks. He applied emergency brakes averting a major accident saving lives of nearly 700 passengers. Kumar and his colleagues were later rewarded for their alertness.
Alarmed by these incidents, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has already sought a NIA probe into the recent spate of derailments suspecting sabotage.
Railway Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed has also cited 45 such cases involving outside interference on the track affecting train movement and causing loss of lives and revenue.
Taking note of the spurt in derailments Chairman Railway Board AK Mital had said on Monday “There is a substantial increase in the derailment case this year as compared against the same period last year and it is a serious concern for us.”
Thirty-nine people were killed after nine coaches of the Hirakhand Express derailed near Kuneru station in Andhra Pradesh on January 21.
In November 20 last year, 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express had derailed near Kanpur killing 151 people followed by the derailment of the Sealdah-Ajmer Express on December 28 near Rura station that left more than 50 passengers injured.
While this saga continues, South Eastern Railway formed a 4-Member Enquiry Team to probe into the detachment of Anand Vihar-Bhubaneswar Weekly Superfast Express’ engine from its bogies in Rourkela.
According to reports, the team, comprising four officials of Chakradharpur Railway Division, has been formed by the South Eastern Railways to investigate into the incident.
Notably, Railway officials initial probe hinted that the engine of the train accidentally got separated from the bogies and went ahead for about 2 kms near Birajapalli, 10-15 minutes after the super fast express left Rourkela Railway Station on January 24. The engine was later drove back and linked with the bogies after the train driver realised about the detachment. However, ECoR officials said that the engine might got separated due to faulty connection of the engine with the bogies.
Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi talks about sabotage angle in Andhra tratin tragedy.
In an interview to news media, former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi talks about the sabotage angle in train accidents in the country. Speaking on the allegation of ‘sabotage’ levelled by Bihar Police and other investigation agencies against Pakistan’s ISI, Trivedi told, I am not very sure whether we should jump into any kind of conclusion without any proper investigation. I trust the capabilities of Indian Railways, Police and NIA, he added.