At least 200 armed Maoists opened fire at the Dhanbad-Patna intercity express in Jamui district in Bihar, killing three persons including an RPF constable on Thursday afternoon. Five other passengers, including a train guard, were injured. More than 2,000 passengers were on board the train when it was attacked.
“Three people including a constable of RPF (Railway Protection Force) 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. At least six were injured in the attack, he said, adding that the attackers fled with the weapons of two RPF personnel.
The slain victims were identified as Amit Kumar and Sarvar Alam and Railway Protection Special Force jawan Sukhant Deonath, said Railway sources.
“The Naxals intercepted the train between Bhalui and Kunder halts around 1.20 pm and started indiscriminate firing on the train. They asked passengers from the general compartments to get down and looted their belongings,” said Pranav K Chaudhary, a Patna-based senior journalist who was on the train. He said it was possible that some Maoists were on the train and they pulled the chain at the specific spot, where the Naxals, comprising many women cadre, came from surrounding areas and attacked the train. “As the firing on the train started, most passengers crept under their seats till the train finally moved ahead,” said Choudhary.
“The Maoists also looted two rifles and ammunition from the RPF personnel. It appears that the motive of the attack was to loot arms from the RPF escort party and they succeeded,” said ADG of police S K Bhardwaj. He also expressed surprise over the daytime attack, as Maoists often operate during the night.
The train was detained for 90 minutes and later proceeded to Kiul where medical assistance was provided to the passengers. The critically wounded among them were rushed to the Jamui government hospital.