The New Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express from Bhubaneswar on Tuesday was detained for nearly five hours from 2.35 p.m. by supporters of the Maoist-backed Police Santrash Birodhi Janasadharaner Committee (PSBJC) at the Banstala Station near Jhargram town in West Bengal’s Paschim Medinipur district.

The incident came on the first day of a bandh called by the outfit to protest against alleged atrocities by security forces on villagers.

The two drivers were held hostage till security forces arrived in the area. The forces cordoned off the train and arrangements were made later for it to resume journey.

The PSBJC is demanding the unconditional release of its convener Chhatradhar Mahato and those arrested for alleged Maoist links in Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia districts.

Though there were initial reports of the driver and the co-driver being abducted, they later clarified that they were only detained.

Co-driver K. Govind Rao said he was forced to stop the train by applying the emergency brakes when a group of men, who stood on the track, waved a red flag. As soon as the train stopped, the group asked the passengers as well as the drivers to get down and switch off their mobiles. He, however, added that none of them was manhandled.

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