Bullet proof locomotives, jackets for train drivers in Northeast

January 15th, 2009 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Jan 15 (IANS) Bullet proof locomotives and protective jackets for crew members are among the security measures being undertaken for train services in the militancy-hit hill section of southern Assam that links Tripura and Mizoram, officials said here Thursday.”After a series of terrorist attacks, the railway ministry has decided to deploy two more battalions (2,000 personnel) of Railway Protection Force (RPF) in the militancy-hit hill section of southern Assam to ensure safe train movement,” an official of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) said.

The train services on the Lumding-Badarpur-Silchar-Dharmanagar-Agartala section had been intermittently stopped during the past one year due to rebel attacks, affecting normal train services and transportation of essentials to Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and parts of southern Assam.

“The trains will run with bullet proof locomotives and the drivers and other crew of the trains will wear bullet proof jackets while a huge contingent of RPF would also be deployed soon,” the official said.

Activists of the separatist group Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel faction) killed 12 people, including a train driver, last year. Occasionally the DHD and other rebels attacked the trains in these routes.

“Due to the frequent suspension of railway services, trade and business and transportation of commodities had been enormously affected in southern Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur,” said Tripura transport minister Manik Dey.

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