After remaining isolated from the national railway network for four days, Madurai junction came alive on Monday evening after all train services from the city in south and north directions were operated in regular route — Virudhunagar-Madurai-Dindigul section.
This was possible after police chased away protesters who were holding up Nagercoil-bound and Palaghat Town-bound passenger trains on the Vaigai river bridge (north side) and in the southern side of Madurai railway junction.
After the tracks and the rakes were checked, light engines pulled rakes of both the trains back to the yard as the diesel locomotive had been shut down three days back.
“Except for three express trains that had been short-terminated at Dindigul, all express trains were operated on the regular route through Madurai railway junction,” Madurai Station Manager N.D. Prem Kumar said.
The rakes of the two passenger trains required some repairs and only after technical clearance they would be operated, he added.
The glass panes of toilets in one of the rakes were damaged during the last three days.
Similarly, the two locomotives required to be taken to Erode for overhauling as the diesel locomotives could not be run after being left shut down for more than three days, he said.
After multiple attempts to persuade the protesters camping on the railway bridge in Sellur failed, the police began to mobilise strength for their forceful eviction late in the afternoon.
In a last attempt, Inspector General of Police (South Zone) S. Murugan attempted to talk to the protesters during which stones were pelted allegedly at the police.
Soon after, the police chased away the protesters and bystanders on the riverbed below the bridge using mild force.
A few men, who were allegedly instigating the protesters, were detained by the city police.
Meanwhile, a group of parents and relatives, brought to the bridge by the police, managed to take away those youngsters, who were still blocking the train.
The mob chased away by the police later indulged in stone pelting at the road below Sellur bridge, in which a few police vehicles were damaged.
(With inputs from Pon Vasanth Arunachalam)