Pelting stones at running trains must stop

Published : 14 Mar 2024 08:54 PM

There is growing concern that incidents of stone pelting at running train across the country have posed a serious life threat to travellers. The train journey that passes through 65 spots of 20 districts under both the East and West zones of the country has become a nightmare for many passengers and railway staff who earlier fell victims to stone pelting at running trains.

Of them 36 spots have been identified in the east zone wile 29 spots in the west zone where stone-throwing incidents are common. It is a criminal offence and many people continue receiving serious injuries risking lives in such cruel incidents.

Besides, such unethical and immoral activities by some youngsters are also causing a huge loss to railway property apart from leading to the death of passengers. At least 150 incidents of stone-throwing take place each year on average, causing damages worth Tk1.45 crore. Many people including passengers and railway employees were injured by stones thrown in different parts across the country in last year.

On Wednesday night a stone thrown at the Chattogram bound Bijoy Express train at a place named Bokainagar between Gouripur and Ishwarganj in Mymensingh district by the unidentified miscreants has injured the master of the train named Mohammad Atiqul Islam seriously. The stone hurled at the train hit his head and doctors said Atiqul’s condition is critical.  

It is a criminal offence

 and many people continue

 receiving serious injuries

The youngsters mostly children do not realise that throwing stones at passing trains is a ‘game of death’ that can lead a commuter to death. Putting their ears on the track, they can hear the sound of the train coming at a distance.

As soon as the train becomes visible, everyone is in their positions and then they become ready, set and go for throwing stones targeting the running trains as a competitive game. The concerned ministry and law enforcement agencies in association with the local public representatives and socio-cultural organisations must trace the miscreants and bring them to justice immediately.

Besides, mass awareness is required to avoid this kind of crime further. Placards, festoons, and leaflets can be distributed among the people to build social awareness to prevent such deadly incidents.

Apart from these, when the commuters will pass through the risky places, must keep the windows shut to protect themselves from stones hurled at the trains. The government should take severe action against those involved in committing such crimes and ensure people’s safe journey at any cost. Stone pelting on running trains has turned into a grave concern for passengers passing through different places of the country. We are deeply concerned and saddened over the growing incidents of stone thrown at running train across the country. 

According to section 127 of the Bangladesh Railway Act 1890, any perpetrator found guilty of pelting stones at trains is to be given a life sentence and be fined up to Tk10,000. Also, as per the provision, if someone dies after being hit by the stones, there are laws for awarding death penalty under section 302.

However, no one has been punished under any of these laws till date. The railway authorities has to find out whether this is a conspiracy by a particular group and identify who the perpetrators of these crimes were. Otherwise safe journey by train cannot be ensured.