Train services disrupted after ‘Maoist posters’ seen on track

July 23rd, 2010 - 12:20 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) Train services on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar section of the South Eastern Railway (SER) were suspended for four hours Thursday after a goods train driver claimed to have seen Maoist posters on the tracks in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district.
The services resumed after four hours after a thorough search by security personnel did not reveal any explosives, but it transpired that the posters had been put up by a pro-Maoist women’s group demanding withdrawal of the anti-Maoist joint operation.

An SER spokesperson said the goods train driver informed the railways authorities that he found some Maoist posters and flags on the railway tracks between Jhargram and Khatkura stations. The driver said some 80-100 people were also standing near the railway track.

“Immediately, train movement on both up and down lines in that section was stopped,” said the spokesperson.

Following the suspension of train movement, 2872 Titlagarh-Howrah Ispat Express, 2860 Howrah-Mumbai Geetanjali Express, 8617 Howrah-Ranchi Intercity Express, 8030 Shalimar-LTT Express, 8013 Howrah-Tata Steel Express, 350 Tata-Kharagpur Passenger, 345 Kharagpur-Tata Passenger and 2022 Barbil-Howrah Janashatabdi Express were detained and 347 Kharagpur-Tata Passenger was cancelled.

The commuters had a trying time following the sudden disruption in services.

Security personnel comprising Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Railway Police (GRP) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) rushed to the spot in a special train and conducted a thorough search.

After a three hour long operation, the security personnel gave the green signal and train services were resumed, said the spokesperson.

“Only a few posters put up on the railway tracks by the Women Dignity Protection Committee (WDPC) (a wing of the tribal body Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities) were discovered,” said a police officer.

Hundreds of tribal women under the WDPC banner gheraoed the Pirakata police camp under Salboni police station in the district demanding withdrawal of joint forces for their alleged misbehaviour with tribal women Thursday evening, West Midnapore’s Deputy Superintendent of Police (operations) Aneesh Sarkar said.

“It was learnt that after the agitating women were dispersed from the Pirakata area, they went to Salukgeria and put up the banners on the railway tracks between the Jhargram and Khatkura stations,” he said.

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