BHUBANESWAR:Angry locals set afire a coach of the Puri-Barbil/Paradip Express at Delang Railway Station in Puri on Friday, after a youth fell off a train and died late on Thursday. No passenger or staff was present in the coach when the incident occurred.
The melee began in the morning when a mob ransacked the station and torched the compartment, disrupting the rail traffic along the route till 2 pm.
Ratikanta Chhatoi, 24, hailing from Gualipada in Delang, was found dead near Delang station on Thursday night. He is believed to have fallen off a train.
The incident enraged the locals, who have been demanding a stoppage of the express train at Delang for the last two to three years.
They prevented the handing over of the body to the Government Railway Police and decided to hold an agitation in the morning by blocking the railway line, demanding compensation for the family of Chhtaoi and stoppage of the express train at Delang.
The locals were further irked in the morning when the Railway Protection Force officials refused to discuss their demands with them. They soon went berserk and started vandalising the railway property.
The Cuttack-Bhadrak-Cuttack passenger train, Paradip-Cuttack-Paradip passenger, Paradip-Puri Intercity and Barbil-Puri Intercity Express were cancelled due to the agitation. Ten more long and short distance trains were halted at various stations, leaving the passengers stranded for over six hours. Three long distance trains -- Puri-Durg Express,
Puri-Sainagar Shirdi Express and Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express -- were rescheduled.
The East Coast Railway condemned the incident and said that torching the train coach and vandalising the station premises were highly deplorable acts. “The ECoR will press for strong action against those responsible for the incidents,” a senior officer said.