Hours after the Railway Protection Force (RPF) lathi-charged commuters to restrain them from boarding a special train at Howrah Railway Station, the West Bengal government on Saturday wrote to the Eastern Railways to resume suburban trains with Covid-19 protocols in place.
“GOWB (Government of West Bengal) is concerned to see the use of unquiet means to disperse passengers in need at railway platforms and has written a letter to railway authorities for discussions towards plying of a few pairs of trains in the morning and afternoon hours for general commuters at large in observance of physical distancing norms and public health protocol,” tweeted the state Home Department.
This came after a large crowd of commuters at Howrah station tried to storm into a train meant for railways staff on Saturday evening. RPF lathi-charged to disperse them, injuring a few.
After the incident, Home Secretary H K Dwibedi wrote a letter to the Eastern Railway and termed the lathicharge “deplorable”.
“It is painful to notice that you are running these trains for your staff only, while many other sections of governmental service providers and members of society at large are denied these services. We are anguished that your Central forces have used coercive means to deal with members of public today at railway stations which is deplorable,” read the letter.
Before this, the Eastern Railway had also written a letter to the state government seeking discussion on the same issue.
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