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Railways steps up security in Northeast
K Anurag in Guwahati | February 24, 2007 15:25 IST
Frequent attempts by militants to target railway establishment has forced the Indian Railways to boost its security apparatus in insurgency-hit Assam and West Bengal's northern areas.
A spokesman of the Northeast Frontier Railway, which is responsible for operation in Northeast India and northern parts of Bengal, said the authorities have decided to install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at six more important but vulnerable railway stations -- New Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Mariani, Rangiya, New Bongaigaon and Lumding -- in Assam.
Authorities have already floated tender inviting bids from eligible parties to install CCTV in these railway stations soon.
The N F Railway earlier equipped its Guwahati (Assam), Dimapur (Nagaland) and New Jalpaiguri (North Bengal) stations with CCTV. All these three railway stations had borne the brunt of militants' attacks. Out of these three stations, the one at Guwahati is considered most vulnerable for militants' attacks despite the existing high security ring around it.
Meanwhile, the N F Railway has made it a routine affair to use tracker dogs by the Railway Protection Force to detect explosives planted inside coaches and platforms while pilots are being run long the track ahead of every passenger trains as a precautionary measure against possible militants strikes.
The Northeast Frontier Railway property has remained a soft target for militant groups including the banned United Liberation Front of Asom, the Kamatapur Liberation Organisation that is highly active in North Bengal areas, Karbi and Dimasa tribal militant groups operating in the two hill districts of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills.
The N F Railway had suffered extensive damage and many lives lost when erstwhile Bodo Liberation Tiger militants were on rampage in western Assam.
Regarding attacks on vulnerable railway tracks, the N F Railway source informed that it was the responsibility of respective state government to arrange for adequate security on railway tracks passing through every state.