Four coaches of Patna-Mokama passenger train completely gutted in fire

Four coaches and an engine of the Patna-Mokama passenger train caught fire on the intervening night between Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The incident happened around 1 am when railway staff spotted the fire in one of the coaches. The train reached Mokam railway station at 10:30 pm.

The train was stationed at Mokama railway yard, 90 Kilometers east of Patna when the incident occurred. The railways employees, local GRP and RPF rushed to the spot to contain the fire but unfortunately, the fire spread to other coaches being completely gutted.

According to sources, at the time of the incident, the train was supposed to be moved to the yard for cleaning.

The railways spokesperson said the fire did not hamper the daily train services in the sector. The Divisional Railway Manager is currently assessing the situation. He also said the fire has been brought under control and there had luckily been no casualties. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Chairman of the Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani told Press Trust of India that train accidents had decreased by 40-45%. With hope to reduce them even further, Mr. Lohani stated that the prime focus this year was to address safety, maintenance and cleanliness of trains and railway premises.

Accused in Bihar Topper Scam, Diwakar Prasad found Dead

In Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) tender scam, Diwakar Prasad, an accused, died under mysterious circumstances on Thursday.

Prasad lived near Panchwati Nagar and was found dead on the road in front of his house. His son Vicky has alleged that the cops had pushed his father from the rooftop which led to his death.

The police officials, however, denied any such allegation and said that Diwakar jumped off the building after seeing the cops coming to his house to arrest him.

The cops went to his house to know about the irregular tender orders for supply of answer sheets to BSEB.

Prasad had a printing press in Patna, named Smrit Printing Mill, which was raided by the special investigation team (SIT) in relation to the Intermediate topper scam that took place on May 31st, 2016. The raiding team had seized a few bundles of the answer sheets from his printing press.

Manu Maharaaj, the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Patna said a case has been lodged in Bahadurpur police station against a sub-inspector and five other policemen on the statement of the victim’s relatives.

The SSP claimed that the CCTV footage from the buildings near the spot had been obtained and soon the actual reason of Prasad’s death would be known.

SOURCES : News18, The Telegraph

Image Source : PTI

Capital Express derails, 34 injured

Two coaches of Capital Express along with the engine derailed in West Bengal. The train was on its way from Rajendra Nagar Terminal, Patna to Guwahati ran off the rails near Samuktala Road in Alipurduar, West Bengal around 9.15 P.M. The Times of India reported the death of two people and injury of 34 people.

The Railway department have assumed the cause of the accident to be due to the driver jumping a red signal though no confirmation has been made yet. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered an inquiry.

Samuktala Railway station is about 32 kilometers away from Alipurduar Railway Division headquarters. Alipurduar DRM Sanjiv Kishore and other officials have rushed to the spot. A rescue operation has begun and those who are trapped inside the coaches are being pulled out. North East Frontier Railway officials have said that an accident relief train has already reached with railway doctors and relief material. Those who are injured are being rushed to Alipurduar district hospital. Arrangements are also being made to send other passengers to Guwahati safely.

Less than two weeks ago, 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express have run off the tracks resulting in the death of more than 150 passengers.




Maoist Insurgency in Bihar Continues

Ten paramilitary commandos belonging to the elite COBRA battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and five others seriously wounded in an attack by Maoists in Bihar’s Dumari Nala Forest as reported by NDTV.

Eight persons were killed on the spot, while two others died during the evacuation according to a senior officer. In the gun battle, four Maoists were also killed.

The 205th COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) battalion has been posted in Bihar to prevent Maoist operations from being carried out. The officers had been trapped in a low-lying area which had landmines (IEDs – improvised explosive devices) planted all around. They were killed in by the blasts – this forest is around 170 km from the state capital Patna.

Weapons including an AK-47, INSAS rifle and a grenade launcher were found at the site. Security personnel suspect that there could be more bombs in the area, which is currently being searched.

This is not the first time there has been a strike by the rebels in Bihar – the list is long and the casualties’ stretch back to June 2012. In February of this year two COBRA troopers were killed, and ten were wounded as the Maoists blew up a bus in Gaya district according to the Hindustan Times.

The Indian government has described them as the greatest threat to internal security – as Maoists continue their insurgency in fighting for jobs, land and other rights for tribal minorities who are poverty stricken as reported by the Daily Mail.