BENGALURU: Incidents of stone pelting on passing trains have been on the rise across Bengaluru Railway Division and the Railway Protection Force see no solution in sight as of now. Two such incidents were witnessed last week, one of which forced the engine of a train to be changed and the other resulted in a passenger suffering head injuries.
According to top railway police personnel, 32-year-old Sourabh Kumar on board the Hosur-Yesvantpur DEMU train (train no. 76524) on January 22 suffered head injuries when sharp stones were pelted at his coach at 7.40pm. The train was running between Banaswadi and Hebbal. Kumar, a resident of Lottegollahalli, was taken to a nearby hospital.
A day earlier, the Mysuru-Mayiladathurai Express (train no. 16232) was pelted with stones as it was nearing KSR Railway Station around 7.30pm. “The stones broke the glass of the engine where the loco-pilot was seated. He did not suffer injuries but it is risky to drive a train without this protection. So, a decision to change the engine was taken,” a police personnel said. It took 35 minutes for the train to arrive and then be replaced.
The train reached its destination really late, the source added. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) responsible for protecting railway property and passengers are helpless in the face of such repeated attacks. “The local police consider it a small issue and do not take serious efforts to punish such perpetrators,” a top RPF personnel said.
The outskirts of Baiyappanahalli, Whitefield, Yeshwantpur, Mandya and Devanakunte are often targeted, police added Another top police official said, “There were 29 such incidents across railway stations in the Bengaluru Division in 2017. On August 22, for instance, four passengers were injured, including a woman, when Doronto Express and Yesvantpur-Cannanore Express were targeted.”
The RPF has conducted awareness drives in slums across the city and repeatedly requested local police to take such boys to task. “The local police view it as something trivial and do not give it any seriousness,” he said. There were a few instances when the train had to be halted and an ambulance had to be rushed. “Thankfully, nothing too serious has happened so far. But this could turn fatal some day if not controlled,” he added.