1,300 from Northeast spend a harrowing time on train from Haryana

When the train halted at Danapur in Bihar on Sunday morning, scores of people tried to barge into it leading to an argument with passengers. It was followed by an attack on the train.

Published: 24th May 2020 04:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th May 2020 05:03 PM   |  A+A-

shramik special train

A youth who was beated up by the police shows his injured arm (left) Locals from the northeast waiting to travelling to their native in the Shramik special train. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Hungry and thirsty, some 1,300 people from the Northeast, travelling by a special train from Haryana, are an angry lot.

The last meal was puri and dry vegetables they had on Saturday at around 7 pm. Twenty hours later, they had not had any food and water. Even the toilets were dry.

When the train halted at Danapur in Bihar on Sunday morning, scores of people tried to barge into it leading to an argument with passengers. It was followed by an attack on the train. In the end, some youth from the Northeast got beaten up by the police.

The passengers – mostly young men and women – did not allow people to board the train at Danapur considering the threat vis-à-vis the COVID-19 pandemic. But this infuriated the people who attacked the train with sticks and stones smashing windowpanes of coaches.

In videos of the incident accessed by The New Indian Express, the train passengers were heard pleading with the assailants as they were going about with their job. An attacker was heard threatening to burn down the train. The police allegedly remained mute spectators as the women and girls were screaming for help.

Northeast Frontier Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda said the train had already left the place.

A windowpane of the train is broken in the melee 

“The matter was discussed with EC Railway officials. There was a minor issue but was handled by RPF and GRP staff. The train is being escorted by RPF. It’s moving ahead,” he said.

Robin Hibu, an IPS officer from Arunachal based in Delhi, said he had already discussed the matter with his batchmate Kundan Krishnan who is Additional Director General of Police, Bihar.

“The ADG Bihar directed the local police for strict action. I have requested him for strengthening railway security during these days when special trains run to the Northeast carrying the citizens back home,” Hibu said.

The train had left Gurugram with people from Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh at around 5 pm on Saturday. The passengers are mostly students and workers.

Lanutemsu Ao, who hails from Dimapur and works in Haryana, said the trouble broke out after they had not allowed the people to board the train at Danapur.

“The doors were open and people started entering some coaches. Since it was risky given the COVID-19 pandemic, we made them to get off after the police had allowed them to board. The cops had beaten up some of us as we were not allowing the people to board by shutting the doors,” Lanutemsu said.

He dismissed the NFR spokesman’s claim that the train was being escorted by the RPF saying that there was no security.

“We got nothing to eat today (Sunday), not even water. At around 7 pm yesterday (Saturday), we were served with five small-sized puris and dry sabji along with a bottle of water each,” he told The New Indian Express at 2 pm on Sunday.

Aren Ovung, who too hails from Nagaland, said, “Forget about food and water. Even the fans in the train are not moving. There is no water either in the toilets.”

Tumchobeni Ngullie, who works in Haryana, said there were six children in her coach and they were crying as they were hungry.

“It’s 3 pm now and since the last meal that we had last evening, we got nothing to eat. We are all thirsty and hungry,” the young woman from Nagaland said.

Sarbesh Khan, who is from Barpeta in Assam and a student in Haryana, said the train would run for 30 minutes and then halt for 1-2 hours.

“We are going through a harrowing time. Only God knows when we will reach our home,” he said.

Girl from Nagaland dies in train

A girl, who hailed from Nagaland’s Dimapur district, died in the train. She was apparently suffering from some liver ailments.

Iraheu, a friend of the deceased who was travelling by the same train, said the body was retrieved at Kanpur. After medical examinations, it was being taken to Nagaland in an ambulance by Iraheu and a youth from the state.

“I worked with her in Himachal Pradesh. Ahead of the lockdown, we moved to my elder sister’s place in Gurugram and got stranded,” Iraheu said.



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