Amid speculation that the Punjab Mail was diverted to prevent farmers reaching protest sites in Delhi, railway officials on Monday cited “operational constraints” for diverting the train to Rewari while on way to Mumbai.
“There were operational constraints, that’s why the train had to be diverted,” Deepak Kumar, the Northern Railway spokesman, told The Indian Express. He did not want to divulge the specifics. Other officials told The Indian Express that there was a fault with the overhead equipment between Rohtak and Shakurbasti, one of the stations in Delhi.
Social media was abuzz with speculation that the Punjab Mail was diverted to prevent a large number of farmers from Punjab to reach the ongoing protest sites.
In Delhi, the train, one of the oldest in India, has around a 20-minute halt, Kumar said. Starting from Firozpur in Punjab, the train enters Delhi from Rohtak. New Delhi is the next stop. However on Monday it was not taken to that route and routed via Rewari in Haryana and then further westward to take the route to Mumbai.