Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Security alert at Patna Jn after Maoist threat

PATNA: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) carried out a joint massive security check at Patna Junction for about an hour from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm on Tuesday following an anonymous call from Maoists in Jharkhand threatening to blow up Patna station building on Tuesday night.

During an hour intensive check by sniffers and bomb squad, neither explosives nor any suspect object was detected on station premises. However, the security personnel resorted to random checking of passengers' luggage as well. Even bogies of the passing and originating mail and express passenger trains were being thoroughly checked at Patna Junction and Rajendra Nagar Terminal to ensure foolproof security to passengers on running trains, a railway security official at Patna Junction said.

According to Danapur DRM B D Garg, the railways have put all security personnel on high alert at Patna Junction in the wake of a call to blow up the station building on Tuesday night. The railways which have installed secret cameras at Patna Junction to keep a tab on the movement of passengers on railway platforms, have already starting functioning now. RPF sleuths have been deployed round-the-clock at Patna Junction, he said.

Keeping in mind the fact that the railways do not want to give any leeway to anti-national people or extremist forces, security has been tightened from all points of view at Patna Junction, sources said. However, a GRP official at Patna Junction said the call, which was received at a few media houses here, was a hoax to create panic among people.

According to Danapur PRO R K Singh, the railways have decided to cancel two Jharkhand-bound passenger trains, Palamu Express (3348) and Patna-Singhrauli Express (3348-A), on April 15 and 16 on both Up and Down directions in the wake of 24-hour bandh call given by Maoists in Jharkhand. That apart, the railways have kept in readiness patrol special trains in each division of the ECR to maintain full alertness due to the bandh call, he said.

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