A large number of youngsters waiting to reach different venues for police recruitment drive in various districts of the state Saturday pelted stones at Shaktipunj Express at Daltonganj railway station in Palamu district.
The driver of the train sustained injuries in the incident. The police managed to control the situation in about four hours’ time, after which the train was able to move. The police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the unruly mob.
According to the police, 11447 Jabalpur-Howrah Shaktipunj Express arrived around 2 p.m. at Daltonganj railway station a few minutes behind its scheduled time of 1.43 p.m. The train goes to destinations like Dhanbad and Bokaro, besides passing by through Ranchi Road.
A large number of aspirants, who wanted to go to Dhanbad and Bokaro, besides other places like Ramgarh, tried to get into the train. As the mob built up, the doors of a few coaches were shut down by the passengers. The aspirants tried to get inside the second class sleeper coaches and the general coaches. However, the mob was too large. As a result, hundreds of aspirants could not get inside.
“Apprehending that they would miss their examination, the students began demanding that the examination be postponed. They then blocked the track and began pelting stones,” said Railway Superintendent of Police (Dhanbad), Asim Vikrant Minj.
Minj added that the police recruitment drive was going on over the last couple of days in various places across the state. “Even today, there was a recruitment drive in Daltonganj and tomorrow also there were examinations at various centres like Dhanbad and Bokaro. As a result, the mob became too large to control, because aspirants who wanted to go home and the ones coming to the station for their examinations found themselves looking for space in different trains, which was not available. As per reports we have received, the driver of the train sustained injuries and the engine’s window panes was damaged. Local police has reached the site and have controlled the situation. Further investigations are on,” said Minj.
In the ensuing melee, the aspirants also scattered the fish that were kept in the luggage rack of the train. Sensing trouble, many passengers left the train and began looking for alternative modes to reach their destinations. Police sources said that many people, who had their reservations from Daltonganj, simply returned. But quite a large number of them found themselves trapped inside the train. Later, when the mob dispersed a bit, they got down from the train.”
Along with the local police, a company of Rapid Action Force (RAF) also reached the police station, headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarter-II) Prabhat Ranjan. “There has been no major damage to the coaches. A few window panes of the air-conditioned coaches and some of the sleeper coaches were damaged in stone-pelting. We had to use force to disperse the mob. The engine has now been changed and the train has left the station. Many of the passengers are being gradually sent to their destinations through other trains. We are still at the station,” said Ranjan in the evening.
Ranjan added that the police were keeping a vigil on the tracks at some distance as there were reports that the aspirants were gathering again on the same track. “The possibility of them being able to block the track is not there. Adequate force is here and we are watching the movement. The driver sustained injuries, but it is not serious. As of now, the situation is under control,” he said.
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