Maoists blow up railway tracks in Jharkhand, 13 trains cancelled

Chaibasa: Members of the banned CPI (Maoist) blew up a portion of railway tracks in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district, disrupting train services on the Howrah-Mumbai route for several hours, police said on Friday.

At least 13 trains were cancelled and one has been diverted due to the incident, a railway official said.

The incident occurred late Thursday night in the Chakradharpur division of the South Eastern Railway between Mahadevsal and Posoita stations, around 150 km from the state capital Ranchi, West Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Ashutosh Sekhar said.

“Security has been tightened in the locality. The repair work on the railway tracks has been started from early morning,” he said, adding that Maoists also put up banners and posters in the area.

Chakradharpur Division Assistant Commercial Manager Vinit Kumar told PTI that train operations in the division have been restored around 9 am on Friday.

Around 10:08 pm on Thursday, an explosion occurred between Mahadevsal and Posoita stations, which blew up the third line of the section.

“No casualty has been reported. The movement of trains was controlled and the convenience of the passengers was ensured,” a railway communiqué said.

“Tracks of around two to three metres were damaged in the blast by unidentified persons,” Kumar said.

Help desks at Rourkela, Tatanagar, Chakradharpur and Jharsuguda stations were immediately set up for passenger services, it stated.

“Due to this incident, Samarsata Express has been diverted and 13 trains have been cancelled,” the release said.

The trains that were cancelled include Tata-Itwari Express and nine MEMU (mainline electric multiple unit) passengers.

Notably, the banned outfit has been observing ‘protest week’ from December 16 and had called for a Bharat bandh on Friday.