In the wake of a two-day bandh call given by Maoists in three states from Monday, Railways have decided to restrict speed of flagship Rajdhani express besides cancelling and diverting some other trains passing through or originating out of these states.

The left-wing extremists have called a shutdown in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand on April 26 and 27.

During this period, all the Rajdhani express trains passing through Bihar and Jharkhand will run at a restricted speed of 75 kmph during night hours instead of their original speed of 110-120 kmph, said sources in Railways.

“If necessary, pilot engines would also run ahead of these trains,” they said.

The measures are aimed at preventing any untoward incident during this period especially after Maoists last month targeted Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express during a similar bandh, derailing the train near Gaya, the sources said.

Passengers had a miraculous escape as the train was running at a slow speed and an alert driver could apply brakes on time.

Some of the Rajdhani express trains passing through the states include the Howrah and Sealdah Rajdhani and the Ranchi Rajdhani apart from the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani.

About three trains including the Ranchi-New Delhi Garibrath Express will be cancelled during the period while the routes of a few other trains running via Garwa Road-Barkakana stretch in Jharkhand will be diverted.

Trains like Varanasi-Ranchi intercity express, Jammu Tawi-Tatanagar express and Howrah-Jabalpur Shaktipunj Express will run via Mughalsarai-Gaya and Gomoh on the bandh days.

The Garwa Road-Barkakhan section, considered a Maoist stronghold, has seen a number of attacks on passing trains and incidents of hijacking.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had last week said in Parliament that Maoist violence and bandhs had cost the Railways Rs 500 crore while asking the states to provide security to rail passengers and property.

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