Lalu Prasad visits railway station; tight security and two-level checking of passengers
NEW DELHI: Placing their destinies in God's hands, over 600 people boarded the Delhi-Attari Special N. 4001 from Old Delhi railway station here at midnight on Wednesday, undeterred by the blasts that rocked the Samjhauta Express on Sunday night.
Though there was tight security, a two-level checking process and a sizeable number of Railway Protection Force personnel, the scene at Platform No. 18 was anything but edgy. Passengers were chatting up with relatives and friends who had come to bid adieu. There were no signs of worry on the faces of Mohammed Riyaz and his wife Salma who were returning to Karachi on the train.
"The incident was very unfortunate. But what can one do? We have left everything to Allah. If he is with us, we do not have to feel scared. We would rather remember about the good time we spent with our relatives in Delhi than think of what might happen to the train," said Riyaz after his maiden visit to India.
Another Karachi-bound passenger, Rizwana who was travelling with her father echoed the same sentiments. The 21-year-old said there was a "drastic" change in security arrangements on the station on Wednesday compared to January 26 when she came here the first time.
"There was no security at the station when we came. However, today there is a lot of police here. The women were being frisked and our baggage was also properly checked."
Delhi-based Mohammed Zargham and his mother Amir Sultana felt there was no point in feeling nervous, as no untoward incident would happen unless God willed so.
Saima Idrees and her aunt Jahanaara who were scheduled to board the ill-fated train on Sunday were thankful that they did not get the tickets then.
"We were cursing the officials for delaying our departure to Pakistan, little did we know that it would prove to be a blessing in disguise. I do feel a little apprehensive today but I have full faith in God," said Jahanaara.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad was at hand to see off the passengers.