The pelting of stones (pebbles) towards running trains has been increased alarmingly in various points under the West Zone Railway of Rajshahi during recent times.
Incidents of such pelting of stones on the trains have made the passengers panicky. Despite the efforts of railway authorities, such incidents are not being stopped.
According to the source of West Zone railway, the incidents of throwing stones in running trains have been increasing recently. Such indiscriminate stoning are damaging the doors and windows of trains. Many passengers are also being hurt by being hit with the stones. Even, there is the incident of death by being hit with the stone.
The incidents of stoning are mainly noticed in 15 points under West Zone railway. The points are Abdulpur station area of Natore, Shahid Monsur Ali railway station area in Sirajganj, Bangabandhu West railway station area under Sirajganj, Muladuli railway station under Pabna, Ullapara railway station area under Sirajganj, Salap railway station under Sirajganj, Jamtoil railway station area under Sirajganj, Boral Bridge railway station under Pabna district, Bhangura station area under Pabna, Chuadanda railway station area, Panchgarch station area, Kismot-Ruhia area under Thakurgaon district, Bhelurpara area under Bogura district, Bamandanga station area under Gaibandha district, Akkelpur railway station area under Joypurhat district and Fultola station area under Khulna district. In recent times, two more points- Dublia and Tantibandha railway station areas under Pabna district have also been identified as vulnerable points for stone throwing towards running trains.
According to Rajshahi Railway station sources, at least 15 Intercity trains depart from Rajshahi daily. The Dhaka-bound trains are mainly the target of stone-throwing. Moreover, frequent incidents of stone-throwing are also being noticed in two Khulna bound, three Nilphamari and Panchgarch bound trains and two Faridpur and Goplaganj bound trains.
West Zone railway sources informed, more than 50 passengers were injured by being hit in throwing stones. Passengers of the trains are worried about their security on board the trains. Moreover, getting no treatment assistance from the railway authorities, sufferings of the injured passengers have been increased further.
On board train officials, staff and regular passengers informed, the incidents of stone pelting by some unidentified unruly people are occurring regularly. Such incidents are causing a huge loss of railway authorities due to damaging or breaking of windows and door glasses. Many passengers are also being injured by being hurt by the throwing stones.
Abdul Karim, Railway Station Manager of Rajshahi informed, due to shortages of manpower, the railway authorities failed to treat such injured passengers. It is not being possible to appoint at least one physician on board a train. As a result, the passengers injured in stone-throwing are being treated in nearby railway hospitals or in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital or in any upazila Health Complex.
On July 12 evening around 7:10 pm, indiscriminate stones were pelted aiming at five train compartments of the Dhalarchar Express train from both sides in between Dublia and Tantibandha stations under Sujanagar upazila and under Paba sadar district. Seven passengers were injured by being hit with such stones.
Ekram Hossain, on duty Attendant of the train, informed, the on-duty train officials, staff and passengers remained panicky about being hit with stones while the train entered Sujanagar, Santhia and Bera Upazilas. On July 12 evening, indiscriminate throwing of stones occurred on running trains and he was also hit by a stone. But, he was saved by sheer luck.
Shah Sufi Nur Mohammad, Divisional Manager of West Zone railway, Paksey division, termed the incidents of such stone throwing on running trains very worrying. He further said it is very hard to identify, arrest and punish those who throw those stones. Earlier, some juveniles involved with such stone-throwing were nabbed but due to their tender age, it was not possible to award them the highest punishment. A massive social awareness is necessary to check such incidents. The railway authorities were also trying to take necessary action against such evil-doers.
Asim Kumar Talukder, General Manager of West Zone railway, Rajshahi, in this connection, said stone throwers are mostly juvenile and tender aged. At present, five railway police are deputed on every train who are engaged to ensure security in the train. GRP police have so far filed more than 30 cases in the incident of throwing stones on running trains. Some of the accused have also been nabbed. Police and railway officials have intensified their vigilance to stop such activities, he mentioned further.