Republic Day Rail Alert: Terrorists may try to fracture train tracks, says intel

Updated: 26 January, 2018 11:31 IST | Suraj Ojha | Mumbai

Rail police personnel and railway officials have stepped up patrolling along tracks after Republic Day terror alert

Heavily armed Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs)and dog squads have been deployed at major stations
Heavily armed Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs)and dog squads have been deployed at major stations

The city's rail security apparatus has been put on high alert after intelligence agencies warned that terrorists may try to derail trains in parts of the country around Republic Day. Intelligence sources told mid-day that the terrorists — suspected to be radicalised by the Islamic State — may fill expansion joints of the tracks with hard substances like cement or stones at unmanned stretches. Expansion joints have a small gap to allow the tracks to expand during summertime. Inserting a hard substance in these gaps will prevent the tracks from expanding and could result in rail fractures, the sources said.

On account of the alert, the Government Railway Police (GRP) commissioner had a meeting with senior GRP officials as well as those from the Railway Protection Force (RPF). Central Railway and Western Railway officials were present. Jaijeet Singh, additional director-general, GRP, confirmed to mid-day that the January 23 meeting of officials from various departments was to discuss security.

GRP and RPF personnel on duty have been asked to frequently patrol the tracks under their jurisdictions. Since the police personnel are not qualified to ascertain damage to the tracks, Permanent Way Inspectors (PWIs) and gangmen have been instructed to assist them in the patrolling. Heavily armed Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) have been deployed in major stations in the city. Railway personnel have been asked to keep the lights on when empty trains pull into the station from the car shed, which is an hour before a train's departure time.

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First Published: 26 January, 2018 08:14 IST

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