May 15, 2020 12:15:58 am
As many as 19 passengers who were among those who reached Bengaluru from New Delhi on Thursday morning by a special train decided to return to their states by the same train after refusing to remain quarantined, Railway officials said.
According to Railway authorities, 12 of them decided to disembark at Secunderabad, two at Guntakal, four at
Anantapur and one at New Delhi Railway Station. Quoting Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike officials, the Railways said 543 passengers arrived here from Delhi today on board the first train to Karnataka since limited rail services resumed in the country amidst the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
“Delhi-KSR Bengaluru train that arrived Bengaluru this morning had 543 passengers, as understood from BBMP because Railway doesn’t count people at exit and health protocol is taken care by state government,” the Railways said in a statement.
As decided by the government, they were sent to the quarantine centres to remain in isolation for 14 days as part
of measures to check spread of COVID-19. However, a section of passengers, ranging about 140, were reluctant for institutionalised quarantine and were protesting against it, the Railways added.
Video footage emerged in social media late in the evening purportedly showing the passengers refusing to go to
the quarantine centres. The passengers stood in groups at the Bengaluru Railway Station,clapped and raised slogans, “No Quarantine”.
After persuasion and discussion by senior state government officials, police and Railways officers, a majority proceeded to the quarantine centres, the railways said.
According to a statement, “19 of them preferred to go back to Delhi which was facilitated by Railways at a very
short notice, by attaching extra coach in today’s train to Delhi.” Following the protest, Inspector General of Police
(Railways) D Roopa had written to the Divisional Railway Manager of Bengaluru asking him to attach a bogie to send them back to the place where they had boarded.
In her letter, Roopa said some passengers who arrived from New Delhi have expressed their unwillingness to undergo
quarantine for 14 days which is part of the state government”s measures to check spread of coronavirus.
“These passengers have requested that they be allowed to travel back from Bengaluru to their stations from where
they boarded the train. They have agreed to bear the ticket expenses. It is requested to kindly add another bogie to
Rajdhani Express 20691 departing Bengaluru today at 8.30 pm. The ticket expense can be kindly collected from travellers,” Roopa wrote to the DRM.
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