Reds strike again: 150 naxals attack Patna train, kill 3

In an audacious daylight attack, suspected Maoists attacked a passenger train in Bihar’s Jamui district on Thursday afternoon, killing a railway police personnel and two passengers, police said. The Railways, however, said only two people had been injured in the incident.

Sonia Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh meet one of the leaders who were injured in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh last month. Over 300 Maoists killed 23 people in a convoy of Congress leaders. Pic/AFP

“Three people including a constable of RPF and two passengers were killed in a Maoist attack on the Patna-bound inter-city train in Jamui,” said Jamalpur Superintendent of Police (Rail) Amitabh Das.¬†Half a dozen people were injured in the attack, he said, adding that the attackers fled with the weapons of two RPF personnel.

According to district police officials in Jamui, almost 150 armed Maoists attacked the train between Bhului and Kunder railway halt. “Maoists stopped the train by forcibly applying the vacuum brake and opened indiscriminate fire in which two railway police personnel and some passengers were injured. Three of them, including a RPF personnel, succumbed to their injuries,” said an official.

Additional Director General of Police SK Bhardwaj said in Patna that the Maoists also looted some ammunition and two rifles from the RPF personnel. “The main motive of the Maoists’ attack was to loot arms of the RPF escort party and they succeeded in their attempt,” he said. Bihar police chief Abhyanand has directed the rail police and district police of Jamui and neighbouring districts to launch combing operations against the Maoists.

Railway ministry sources in New Delhi said the suspected Maoists, in a bid to snatch the weapons of the RPF personnel on the 1331 Dhanbad-Patna inter-city train service, opened fire at them. They said officials returned fire and a guard and a RPF constable were injured in the cross-firing.

The train, which was detained for around one hour and 15 minutes, had since moved towards its destination. Railway Minister CP Joshi said preliminary information indicated that it could be a Maoist attack, while Minister of State for Home RPN Singh termed the attack as ‘unfortunate and dastardly’.

Maoist attacks on trains
Nov, 2009: Maoists blow up railway tracks in Simdega district in Jharkhand derailing a passenger train, killing 2 and injuring 38 people.
May 19, 2010: Maoists trigger landmines on railway tracks near Jhargram in West Bengal injuring two drivers of a goods train.
May 20, 2010: Fourteen oil tankers of a goods train derail and catch fire after the Maoists blow up railway lines between Dighwara and Pipra stations in Bihar
May 22, 2010: Two people, travelling in the Tatanagar-bound Steel Express, injured in the crossfire between the Maoists and joint forces.
May 28, 2010: Maoists derail the Jnaneswari Express in the West Midnapore district, causing its collision with another train, resulting in the death of at least 141 passengers.

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