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PCPA block train during indefinite strike

Posted by Admin on October 27, 2009

trianhostagestoryKOLKATA: The driver and assistant driver of the New Delhi-bound Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express were abducted Tuesday by activists of a Maoist-backed tribal outfit at a station in West Midnapore district of West Bengal, police said.

Railway and police sources said the 2443A UP Rajdhani Express was stopped at 2.45 p.m. in South Eastern Railway’s Kharagpur division by a group of people who were squatting on the track at Banstala Halt station a little after the train had left Jhargram.

“The agitationists entered the drivers’ cabin, beat up both the driver and assistant driver, and then abducted them,” Additional Director General (Railway Police) Dilip Mitra told IANS.

Driver K. Anand Rao and assistant driver K.G. Rao sustained injuries and were missing, Mitra said.

A district police force, which started off for the spot, was ambushed and one constable was injured, he said.

A large force of Railway Protection Force (RPF) and General Railway Police has been sent, Mitra added.

A South Eastern Railway spokesman said security personnel have cordoned off the train, and all passengers are safe.

The agitators were members of the Maoist-backed People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) which has called an indefinite shutdown in West Midnapore district in support of its 33-point charter of demands. The charter includes “stopping police torture on innocent tribals” and “withdrawal of joint security forces” deployed to flush out Maoists from the Lalgarh belt in the district.

PCAPA spokesman Santosh Patra, speaking from an undisclosed location, told a private television channel that the driver has been kept confined “among our people” at the incident spot itself.

“More than 5,000 PCAPA supporters are there. The railway minister (Mamata Banerjee) should intervene to ensure that security personnel do not fire on our supporters. Also, our supporters should not be tortured by the security forces on the ruse of flushing out Maoists,” Patra said.

However, Mitra said though the PCAPA was claiming the two railways employees were at the spot, “I am not sure”.Sakkal Times

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