Suspected members of banned CPI (Maoist) blew up portions of railway tracks in Jharkhand’s Latehar and West Singhbhum districts in the early hours of Saturday, disrupting train services on Barkakana-Garhwa and Howrah-Mumbai routes, the police said. A rail track between Sonua and Lotapahar stations in West Singhbhum, under the Chakradharpur division of South Eastern Railway (SER), was damaged past Friday night in a blast that was allegedly triggered by the Maoists.
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The banned outfit has called for a nationwide bandh on Saturday to protest against the arrest of its top leader Prashant Bose, alias Kishan Da, who was carrying a bounty of Rs 1 crore on his head, by the Jharkhand Police.
Bose was the mastermind behind more than 100 incidents of attack and arson in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
DSP Ajay Linda said suspected ultras had triggered a low-intensity blast between Sonua and Lotapahar and damaged some sleepers laid underneath the tracks.
Services on the main Howrah-Mumbai line were restored via an alternative track from 8 am on Saturday and services returned to normal two hours later, he said.
In Latehar, too, a blast took place on the railway tracks between Richughuta and Demu stations around 12.30 am, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Palamu Range, Raj Kumar Lakra, said.
Maoist cadres squad blew up the tracks, bringing trains to a halt on the Barkakana-Garhwa route, under the Dhanbad division of Eastern Central Railway (ECR), Lakra said. All police stations in Palamu, Garhwa and Latehar have been put on high alert, the DIG said.
Several trains were diverted, while Dehri-on-Sone-Barwadih and Barwadih-Nesubogomo special trains cancelled, he stated. — PTI