GUWAHATI: Hundreds of passengers had a miraculous escape at Kamakhya railway station here on Wednesday after a Railway Protection Force (RPF) patrolling party detected a time bomb inside a compartment of the Kamakhya-Alipurduar Intercity Express.
The explosive was found by RC Duwarah, a head constable of RPF, after the train arrived at the station’s platform No. 4 from Alipurduar in the afternoon.
The timer device fitted with the bomb was set to trigger the explosion at around 3.55 pm, half an hour before the departure of the train to Alipurduar, when the platform remains crowded with passengers.
“I saw an unclaimed bag under a seat inside Coach No. 11411. The bag contained a tiffin box with wires and batteries fitted to it. Suspecting it to be an IED, I took the bag out of the coach and informed my counterparts,” said Duwarah.
Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) sleuths evacuated the platform and confirmed that it was an IED which was defused at 2pm.
“The IED, weighing about 1 kg, had about 500 grams of low-explosive powder and ball bearings as splinters,” said Sugata Lahiri, CPRO of Northeast Frontier Railway (NF Railway). Railway authorities have appealed to passengers to remain alert and inform police if they notice any suspicious luggage or movement in trains. “Had the IED exploded, it would have injured several passengers seriously or even killed some,” said a BDDS personnel.
On the other hand, locals and passengers have raised doubts on security inside trains and at railway stations. “There is not a single CCTV camera at the Kamakhya station. Had there been CCTV cameras, then police might have got some lead about the miscreants who boarded the train with the explosive,” a passenger said.
A few days ago, four IEDs were recovered from the tracks between Dudhnoi and Krishnai stations in Lower Assam’s Goalpara district.