Close on the heels of the UP Government's decision to recover the costs of damages to public property from those involved in arson and violence during anti CAA protests, Indian Railways, too have announced to carry out a similar exercise.
Railways suffered Rs 80 crore worth damages to its properties during protests mostly in West Bengal and Assam.
Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said on Monday, the ministry will recover the damages from arsonists.
The protests have damaged railway property including trains, railway stations, ticket booking counters, tracks, vehicles and communications equipment. Even over a dozen railway employees, who were on duty were also injured.
Of the total damages, Eastern Railways suffered the most--worth Rs 70 crore as railway properties in West Bengal suffered heavy losses followed by Rs 10 crore in Assam under the ambit of Northeast Frontier Railway.
"The damage will be recovered from those found involved in arson and violence. This, however, is a preliminary estimate and the figure could go up after the final analysis," Yadav told reporters here.
Railway Protection Force is co-coordinating with the state governments to identity the culprits who were involved in vandalising the railway property, he said.
Earlier, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had demanded strict action from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against those who damaged railway property.
"Law and order is a state subject and they are working on it. Recoveries will be made," Yadav said, refusing to reveal the modalities.
Sources indicated that those found guilty of damaging railway property would be charged under section 151 of the Indian Railway Act, which has a provision of maximum imprisonment up to seven years.
The railways, sources said, could also go to court to recover the cost of damage.
In Uttar Pradesh the state government has already initiated the steps to recover the damages from those involved in violence and sealed their properties. In Karnataka also Revenue Minister R Ashok announced that the state government will recover the damages to the public property from arsonists.