There has been a steep rise in Naxal attacks on the Railway property last year with most of them being reported from bordering districts of West Bengal and Jharkhand.
According to the figures issued by the Railways, there were 58 Naxal attacks in 2009 and South Eastern Railway alone registered 30 incidents under its jurisdiction. These included the attack on the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express near Jhargram.
The Railways had reported 30 Naxal attacks in 2008 as compared to 56 the previous year, a senior Railway official said. But the figures again went up in 2009 due to the jump in Naxals targeting rails under SER, he said.
Most of the attacks were in the form of rail tracks being blown up or stations being bombed, he added.
Expressing concern over such attacks, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had last week said in Parliament that naxal bandhs and strikes have dealt a blow of nearly 40 per cent to the business of the Railways.
“We have lost about 40 per cent of our business due to Maoist violence and agitations like bandhs. These have hit our operations to a great extent,” she had said.
East Central Railway with its headquarters in Hajipur saw 18 such attacks, while East Coast Railway registered eight such incidents last year, the most being concentrated around the Koraput-Rayagada belt where Naxals have a strong presence.
During a coordination meeting with State Home Secretaries, officials of Ministry of Home Affairs and Intelligence Bureau, several resolutions were adopted, one of them being raising an inter—state police team to monitor a group of trains.
The resolutions are in the different stages of being implemented.
The official said there has been about six attacks this year even as vigilance has been stepped up along railway tracks to prevent Naxal activities.
Meanwhile, figures also revealed that 10,481 cases of crimes were reported in trains last year.