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Bihar: One arrested in train burning case

By Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna
August 28, 2009 10:38 IST
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The Government Railway Police in Bihar has arrested one of the 26 individuals allegedly involved in setting on fire four air-conditioned bogies of the Delhi-Patna Shramjeevi Express.

Ten days after the incident took place in Bihta near Patna, the GRP arrested Faiz Ahmad, one of the 26 accused named in the case.

"We had identified 26 culprits involved in setting the train on fire with help of visuals provided by the television news channels," GRP Deputy Inspector General Arvind Pandey told in Patna on Friday.

Pandey said the police were interrogating Ahmad to locate the others involved in the incident.

After the arson, two separate first investigation reports were lodged with the Danapur GRP -- one by the Railway Protection Force and the other by the deputy station superintendent at Bihta station -- against unidentified persons, railway police sources said.

Sources in Bihta said the railway police and district police have began raids to arrest the other accused.

The damage to the four bogies is estimated to be Rs 3.5 crore (Rs 35 million), a railway official said.

In Bihar, it has become a regular feature to damage or burn trains and disrupt traffic over local issues.

The Danapur-Buxar rail section and Danapur-Mokama rail section witnessed five train-burning incidents between June 1 to August 18. On the day the Shramjeevi train was burnt, a mob of students set fire to the Kiul Gaya passenger train at the Lakhisarai railway station.

In the first incident on June 1, students torched four bogies of two trains at Khusrupur, 32 kilometres east of Patna, after the railways withdrew a stop for the Shramjeevi Express there. On July 14 local residents set ablaze an AC coach of the Kosi Express at Athamgola railway station.

It is common for students and local residents to enter reserved and AC bogies on long-distance express trains passing through Bihar and travel without valid tickets.

Bihar Director General of Police Anand Shankar has directed Additional Director General (railways) A S Nimbram to set up separate control rooms for the railway police. Shankar also ordered increasing patrolling on trains.

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Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna