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Bihar: Railways suffers Rs 5 crore loss in anti-MNS agitation

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 23, 2008 11:09 IST

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Indian Railways has lost over Rs 5 crore in Bihar in the last two days during the students' protest against Raj Thackeray's [Images] Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, a senior railway official said in Patna on Thursday.

Reports reaching Patna said that violent protests continued as angry students ransacked Motihari and Lakhisarai railway stations and torched a police vehicle at Motihari railway station.

The Railways was mainly targeted by protesting students in Bihar on Tuesday and Wednesday as they ransacked various railway stations, set ablaze trains and damaged railway properties.

In view of the threat to the safety of passengers, the Railways has cancelled movement of all trains in Patna-Danapur division till normaly returns.

"The Railways is not in position to resume train movement till normalcy returns and the proper safety of trains and its passengers are ensured by the state administration," DRM of Danapur Railway Division B D Garg said.

"A preliminary estimate is that the Railways' loss will be over Rs 5 crore. The real loss will be known only after a full study of the damage by protestors," A K Chandra ,chief PRO ECR, told over telephone on Thursday morning.

According to Railways sources, four AC bogies, three AC sleeper coaches, and one AC chair car were badly damaged on Wednesday at different railway stations.

Apart from this, three general coaches and a SLR were damaged in violent protests.

"Railways is not only a soft target, it is the main victim of angry students protests in Bihar," a Railways official said .

Angry students on Wednesday torched air-conditioned bogies and a coach of three trains at Barh railway station, Sasaram railway station and Athamgola railway station in protests against the attacks on north Indian candidates by activists of Raj Thackeray's MNS during a Railways recruitment exam in Mumbai.

They also damaged ticket counters, signalling systems, computers and offices at railway stations.

On Tuesday, hundreds of students ransacked Patna railway station and damaged properties including ticket counters and computers after they arrived from Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav [Images] has appealed to the protestors to help the Railways restore normal services.

Bihar is home state of Lalu Prasad.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also appealed to the protestors to maintain peace.

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