LATEHAR/MEDININGAR/CHAIBASA: 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, police said.
A rail track between Sonua and Lotapahar stations in West Singhbhum, under Chakradharpur Division of South Eastern Railway (SER), was damaged past Friday night in a blast that was allegedly triggered by the Maoists.
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.
Ajay Linda, the district superintendent of police, told PTI that suspected ultras have triggered a low-intensity blast between Sonua and Lotapahar and damaged some sleepers laid underneath the tracks.
Services on 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, told PTI.
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.
ECR Railway spokesperson PK Mishra said a trolley of a diesel engine was damaged in the blast.
Mishra also said train movement on Richuguta-Tori line, under the Dhanbad division of ECR, could be restored only after ten hours of operation.
Several trains were diverted, while Dehri-on-Sone-Barwadih and Barwadih-Nesubogomo special trains cancelled, he stated.
Officials said routes of four express and passengers trains, including Sasaram-Ranchi passenger train and Jammu-Tawi Express, have been diverted in the wake of blast on Tori- Latehar track early on Saturday, Movement of passenger buses from Medininagar to Ranchi has also been put on hold, the officials added.