Against the backdrop of yet another Naxal attack on a train in Jharkhand on Thursday night, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that she will take up the issue of railway safety with Home Minister P Chidambaram.
“We will take up the issue with the Union Home Minister. Every day there are kidnappings, obstructions and bomb blasts (taking place). This issue has to be resolved through talks,” she told reporters outside Parliament house.
Eight bogies of the Tata-Bilaspur passenger train derailed on Thursday night after Maoists blew up railway tracks in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.
Ms. Banerjee also said that Railway property should not be damaged as the railways cater to lakhs of people every day.
Asked why the Railway Ministry itself is not providing protection to trains, she said security and law and order was a state subject.
“The Railway Protection Force (RPF) cannot even file an FIR. We have Government Railway Police for the purpose. We provide 50 per cent of their salaries and balance is provided by the state governments,” she said.
On whether it was failure on part of the state governments in providing security to the trains, Ms. Banerjee said: “I did not say that“.
Ms. Banerjee said prima facie evidence suggested that, last night’s attack was carried out by Naxals.
The Railway Minister said earlier it was feared that two people had died in the attack but it has now been found that one of them is alive. She said condition of three of the injured is stated to be critical.