On July 11, three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Gorakhpur-Lucknow Vande Bharat Express train on July 7, a man and his two sons hurled stones at the train, smashing its window panes.
The police said there were no reports of any injuries to passengers who were travelling by the train from Gorakhpur to Lucknow.
The incident took place at 8:40 am near Sohawal railway station which is nearly 15 km away from Ayodhya Cantt Junction.
It is to be noted that, stone pelting on Vande Bharat trains is not uncommon. The accused told the police that they hurled stones on the train when it was passing near Sohawal station in Ayodhya, under Raunahi police station on July 11 morning.
SSP Ayodhya Raj Karan Nayyar in a video statement on twitter said after investigations, the three accused were taken into custody.
Muunu Paswan and his two sons – Ajay and Vijay – were angry after their six goats died on July 9 after coming under a Vande Bharat Express.
“The accused were identified as Munu Paswan and his two sons Ajay and Vijay. During investigation, they revealed that on July 9, six goats had run over by the same train and that is why they hurled stones at it on July 11,” the SSP said.
“Window panes of C1 coach (seat 33, 34), C3 (seat 20, 21, 22), C5 (seat 10, 11, 12), E1 ( seat 35, 36) were damaged,” officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and local police said after inspecting the spot.
The trio hurled stones at the train as they were enraged about their loss.
The train has been envisioned to improve connectivity and give a boost to tourism in Uttar Pradesh.
Past attacks on Vande Bharat trains
Earlier on May 2, a shocking incident of stone pelting was reported on the newly launched Vande Bharat Express train in Kerala, informed officials.
Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express at Thiruvananthapuram Central Station on April 25.
According to Southern Railway officials, the incident was reported when the train was traveling between Tirunavaya and Tirur. The newly launched train was going to Thiruvananthapuram from Kasargod.
In March also, an incident of stone pelting on Vande Bharat Express train was reported from West Bengal in which window panes of a coach of the high-speed train were damaged, Eastern Railway said in a statement. The incident was reported to have taken place near Farrakka in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
In January, stones were pelted on the Vande Bharat train in Visakhapatnam city of Andhra Pradesh during maintenance. The glass pane of a coach of Vande Bharat Express was damaged near Kancharapalem in Visakhapatnam.
In January only another incident of stone pelting on a Vande Bharat Express train was reported in Bihar’s Katihar in which the window pane of one of the coaches of the high-speed train was damaged.
The incident was reported to have taken place on near Telta Railway Station under the police station of Balrampur in Katihar district. The right side glass window of a coach of the 22302 down Vande Bharat Express was reported damaged.
On January 2, stones were also pelted at the train connecting Howrah to New Jalpaiguri, within just four days after its launch. Window panes of the Vande Bharat Express were broken as stones were thrown at the train connecting Howrah to New Jalpaiguri near Malda.
On January 3, two window panes of the Vande Bharat Express train were damaged after stones were allegedly pelted on the two coaches near the Phansidewa area of Darjeeling. .
1,503 cases of stone pelting on moving trains in 2022
According to Indian Railways, more than 1,500 incidences of stone-throwing on moving trains had been reported nationwide in 2022 and over 400 persons had been arrested for the offense.
“The RPF recorded 1,503 incidents of stone-throwing on moving trains during the year, and 488 people were arrested as a result. RPF has organized several awareness campaigns to inform people living close to railroad tracks. More than 100 people carrying explosives or fireworks in trains were also detained during this drive,” Railways stated in a statement outlining the accomplishments of the RPF for the year 2022.