Mob in Bihar attack NE bound train

Mob in Bihar attack NE bound train
(L) A person seen threatening passengers (R) windowpane damaged by the mob. (Video grab)
Staff Reporters/Correspondent DIMAPUR/KOHIMA, MAY 24 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/24/2020 1:26:20 PM IST

Over one thousand passengers, including Nagaland citizens, of a North East-bound special train from Gurugram, Haryana were subjected to harassment when scores of people tried to barge into the train when it halted at Danapur railway station in Bihar in the wee hours of Sunday.

In the videos that went viral on social media, passengers were seen stopping the people from getting into the train. They closed down the windows and doors of the train and pleaded the people not to board the train. However, the infuriated mob was seen banging on the windows, passing lewd comments. They also smashed windowpanes while some managed to get inside few coaches leading to heated arguments.

In the video, the passengers were also heard accusing the “police” of threatening them along with the “public”. There were also reports of similar attack at few other stations. However, these incidents could not be verified till the filing of this report. The special train left Gurugram on May 22 was scheduled to reach Dimapur station at 5.40 am on Sunday but got delayed due to the incident.

Governor condemns ‘harassment & hooliganism’: Nagaland Governor RN Ravi while strongly condemning the incident said such “harassment and hooliganism” would not be tolerated.

When contacted by Nagaland Post, Ravi remarked, “Such incident of harassment and hooliganism is highly condemnable. These can’t be tolerated.”

After learning about the incident, Ravi said he had contacted director general of police (DGP), Bihar and director general (DG) of Railway Protection Force (RPF) and asked them to look into the matter. It was learnt that DGP Bihar had assured the governor that he would personally monitor the situation and ensure smooth passage of trains through the State.

CS monitoring situation: Explaining that the incident occurred as some “unruly migrants” wanted to board the train, chief secretary Temjen Toy claimed that after hearing about the unfortunate incident, the COVID-19 War Room team immediately contacted RPF Bihar to ensure safety of the passengers. Commenting on complaints of “unscheduled” stoppages by the train, Temjen said this was happening due to congestion of rail routes, adding about 400 citizens of Nagaland were on board. 

He said the Haryana government had urged the Nagaland government to take back its citizens, which the latter agreed.

Additional chief secretary and finance commissioner Sentiyanger clarified that it was not racial attack but a law and order issue and regretted that the passengers had to go through the unfortunate incident. 

According to one of the passengers, the situation became normal and railway authorities provided water and biscuits and other food items at Katihar rail junction. 

Nagaland government tweeted appealing to the passengers to bear with the inconveniences as it had taken up the issue of food and other necessary arrangements with Indian Railways and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

The government also tweeted that it had arranged another special train from Bengaluru, which would reach Dimapur on May 31.

Regretting the incident, agriculture production commissioner (APC) and head of COVID-19 in-charge of Dimapur Y Kikheto Sema said passengers of many trains and buses had to face such situations, adding that those attacking trains were mostly migrant workers who have not been provided transportation.

He said the matter was taken up with appropriate authorities and had been settled, claiming that he was in constant touch with the passengers travelling through the route.

The APC said State DGP T John Longkumer had conveyed that police personnel were escorting the passengers. He informed that Nagaland had received about 3,500 passengers till date. 

He also said 42 buses carrying more than 1,400 stranded people of Nagaland from 12 States would be reaching the State in the next few days.

Mentioning that Indian Railways planned to operate 2,600 Shramik special trains to ferry approximately 36 lakh migrant workers back to their home States, he pointed out that 80% of these trains were bound to traverse UP and Bihar.

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