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Night train services suspended in Assam hills
K Anurag in Guwahati | May 12, 2008 19:37 IST
The Northeast Frontier Railway has suspended night running of train services in Lumding-Badarpur section in Assam that traverses through the insurgency ravaged North Cachar Hills where Black Widow militants have triggered fresh violence by killing 11 persons including a Railway staff in two separate attacks during the last couple of days.
Besides attacking remote Wardingdisa railway station in the hill districts, killing three persons including a railway points man on Saturday night, the Black Widow ultras mowed down eight construction workers engaged in the railway gauge conversion project in the area on Sunday.
The attacks have sparked sharp protests from Railway staff and labourers working in Lumding-Badarpur section. The workers have threatened to stop operation of trains in that section unless they are provided adequate security cover by the state government. They have submitted separate memoranda to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and the General Manager of the NFR demanding security.
Senior NFR officials on Monday held a meeting to review the situation in the Lumding-Badarpur section that is under serious threat from Black Widow militants. Sources said that the meeting expressed serious concern over the continuing violence perpetrated by the militants in Lumding-Badarpur hill section that is vital for south Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.
The Black Widow militants had declared a unilateral ceasefire on March 24 asking the government to reciprocate within three months. However, there was apparently no response from the government. The militant group has posed very serious security threat to Railway men working in the hill section as well workers engaged by contractors in the multi-crore railway gauge conversion project that is already far behind schedule.
The state government recently sent additional forces to North Cachar Hills to guard over the Railway broad gauge project as well as the East-West Corridor project of National Highway Authority that is also under threat from militants.