Bihar: Railways to get tough on vandals

At times, protesters in different parts of Bihar have also tried to set trains afire too. Representative image.

Rattled over the increasing number of attacks on trains and its passengers by political activists, railway officials are mulling over a proposal to stem the rot.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF), the nodal agency tasked with protecting railway passengers and railway property, has asked the East Central Railway (ECR) in Bihar to book all such politicians, activists and student leaders who attack trains or cause damage to railway property, mostly during an agitation.

“Book such elements under Section 174 of the Railway Act 1989. Click their photographs and get video footage of their vandalism. Submit these proofs to the court and ensure the presence of such evidence (during the speedy trial) leads to their conviction. Once they are convicted, they may be debarred from contesting election,” Arun Kumar, director general of the RPF, said during his Bihar visit.

The State has been notorious in this regard where a many trains, including Rajdhani, had to bear the brunt of protesters, who not only squat on tracks disallowing the train to move but also damage the window panes of the air-conditioned bogies during any bandh call.

At times, protesters in different parts of Bihar have also tried to set trains afire too.

“As per the provision in Section 174 of the Railway Act, a person found guilty is liable to be fined up to Rs 2,000 or sentenced two years of jail, or both. If a person is convicted for two years, then as per the Representation of People’s Act, he could be debarred from contesting elections. This punitive action could serve as a deterrent to those who indulge in large-scale vandalism and attack trains during an agitation,” Rajesh Kumar, chief public relations officer (CPRO) of East Central Railway, said.

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Bihar: Railways to get tough on vandals

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