CRPF men reach Bengal

Ultras fled when the contigent reached the spot: Home Secretary

The Centre and the West Bengal government “acted in unison, not yielding to any possible tradeoff demand”, sources said, suggesting toughening of stance against the spate of Maoist blitzkrieg on government premises, property and personnel. Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said the Maoists had fled the scene before the CRPF contingent reached the spot.

PC speak

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who briefly spoke to newspersons, said: “The crisis is over and all passengers are safe.”

He said there was some firing and a civilian driver was injured but none of the CRPF jawans was hurt.

Chidambaram asked the media to observe caution while reporting the incident.
The home minister spoke to the driver of the train and some of the passengers to gather details about the incident. He suggested that the media should speak to the Railway Board or the minister “for further information”.

Meanwhile, “the train hijack” seemed to have accentuated the political tug of war between the CPM-led government in the state and its arch rival the Trinamool Congress.
Taking the battle against the Left Front government in West Bengal to the Centre, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee met Chidamabaram and demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state.

“The Centre should dismiss the state government and impose President’s rule, as it is necessary to save democracy there,” she told reporters after meeting Chidambaram.
The Trinamool chief said the Centre should utilise the provisions under Article 355 (to protect a state against external aggression and internal disturbance) followed by Article 356 (to dismiss a state government and impose President’s rule) so as to restore the rule of  law in West Bengal.

She alleged that the CPM cadres were “killing” democracy with the help of the state machinery. The minister said she was ready for a dialogue with them.

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