Kolkata (West Bengal): Unidentified miscreants pelted stones on the newly launched Howrah-NJP Vande Bharat Express on January 2, the second day of its commercial run.
Stones were pelted at the Vande Bharat Express, which was going to New Jalpaiguri towards Howrah. Initially, the stone fell on India’s C-13 coach of the Vande Bharat Express near Kumarganj station at around 5:10 pm, according to the reports. Because of that, the glass of the door of the compartment was broken.
The Indian Railways said that no passengers were injured. Neither did the train get delayed on account of this.A case u/s 154 of the Railways Act has been registered against unknown persons. The investigation is underway.
Eklavya Chakraborty, Chief Public Relations Officer of Eastern Railway, said, ‘Who threw (stones) is being investigated. A stone pelting incident took place. The incident occurred 20-25 km before entering Malda station (an area under North-East Frontier Railway). Happens at different times in different places. We are aware of this. Various programs are conducted. It has decreased a lot. But today, it happened again. It has to be seen. We are in touch with the state government.”
Earlier on December 30, the nation’s seventh Vande Bharat express train between Howrah-New Jalpaiguri (NJP) was flagged off through video conferencing by the Prime Minister in the presence of Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
The train will cover a distance of around 550km and will take a little more than seven and a half hours to reach its destination, with only three stoppages from Howrah to NJP. The Shatabdi also runs between the two terminals. The Vande Bharat will run six days a week except on Wednesdays. The train will depart at 5.50 am from Howrah and reach NJP at 1.25 pm. From NJP, the train will depart at 3.05 pm and reach Howrah at 10.35 pm.
Leader of Opposition in West Bengal and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari termed the incident ” unfortunate and sickening”. He asked if this was done to get revenge for the chants of ‘Jai Shree Ram’ on its inaugural day. He also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over this investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He also demanded stern punishment for the culprits.
Last month in another incident, a Nagpur-Bilaspur Vande Bharat Express train windowpane suffered damage after an unidentified person hurled a stone at it in Chhattisgarh. The incident occurred between Durg and Bhilai Nagar railway stations under the Raipur division of the South East Central Railway (SECR) on December 28, an evening when this semi-high-speed train was heading to Bilaspur in the state, he said. “Somebody hurled a stone at the train from outside, which caused damage to a window of the E1 coach last evening. But nobody was injured in the incident,” the official said. He added that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) was informed about it, and a probe was initiated. The Vande Bharat Express train between Nagpur in Maharashtra and Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh is the sixth such service in the country.