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Lalu Yadav threatens to cancel trains

October 29, 2008 18:22 IST

Against the backdrop of killing of a north Indian youth on a Mumbai local train, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav [Images] on Wednesday threatened to suspend train movement in states where rail passengers and properties are repeatedly attacked.

"Railways are becoming soft target in many states these days. If railway properties and passengers continued to be attacked we may think of cancelling train operations in those areas," Yadav told reporters in New Delhi [Images].

The minister, however, clarified that he did not mean any particular state.

Yadav also spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images], United Progressive Alliance chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and expressed serious concern over the incident involving Dharam Dev, the youth hailing from Uttar Pradesh [Images] who was beaten to death by fellow commuters.

The minister also announced compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the next kith and kin of the deceased youth.

"The PM and Soniaji have assured me that they would immediately take up the matter with Maharashtra government," he said.

Seeking tough action against those involved in the train incident, Yadav requested the prime minister to ensure "full security" to north Indians in Maharashtra during the Chhat festival.

"I have told the prime minister to take stringent action against those behind the incident. I also spoke to Deshmukh for action against the culprits," he said.

Describing it as a "national issue", Yadav said that he requested the PM to call an all-party meeting so that the stand of political parties over the matter becomes clear.

Dubbing the Deshmukh government as a "weak" one, Yadav said, it did not take any action and demanded registration of sedition case against the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.

Yadav also criticised Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray [Images] for allegedly publishing derogatory remarks against him and north Indians.

Dismissing the demand for his resignation made by Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh [Images] over the issue, Yadav said: "This is rubbish. Resignation is not a solution. We have faith in prime minister. The PM has earlier also taken action and I am sure this time also he would do the needful."

Making light of Singh's comment, Yadav remarked "Amar Singh and SP are part and parcel of the UPA."

Taking a dig at BJP prime ministerial candidate L K Advani [Images] for maintaining silence on the issue, he said "Advani has not condemned the incident yet. Shiv Sena is part of the National Democratic Alliance and he has his ambition to become prime minister in which the Sena is lending a helping hand."

Charging the Government Railway Police of Maharashtra government for not taking prompt action after the youth was beaten up, Yadav said, they (GRP) were "not even registering a police case against the culprits".

"They have showed negligence. We are seeking suspension of erring GRP men. We have spoken to Maharashtra DGP and he admitted the lapse on the part of the police," Yadav said.

He also demanded registration of a case of murder against Maharashtra policemen for the earlier shoot-out in a bus in which Rahul Raj, a youth from Patna was shot dead.

"A case under Section 302 should be registered against the policemen involved in the shootout," he said.

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