The government has alerted Naxal-affected states against possible Maoist attacks on railway networks, in the wake of Left-wing extremists targeting a Rajdhani Express train in Bihar, by blasting the rail tracks.
The home ministry has issued the alert to West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh, apprehending attacks by Naxals on trains and railway infrastructure, as any sabotage on the network can result in large-scale damages, official sources said.
The home ministry has also requested the railway ministry to deploy adequate manpower to provide security to passengers and take necessary precautionary measures. The alert has been issued after the latest attack near Gaya, when Maoists targeted a Rajdhani Express by blasting the rail tracks, resulting in the derailment of ten coaches.
The attack came during the 48-hour 'bandh' call given by Naxals on Monday. "The states should also utilise the services of central paramilitary forces, the Railway Protection Force, Home Guards, civil defence and village defence committees in order to enhance and ensure the security of trains and other railway property," they said.
Sources said the home ministry had issued an alert about possible attacks on the railway networks running through Naxal-affected areas nearly a fortnight ago. Railway properties are becoming more and more vulnerable to Maoist attacks, with Naxals blowing up tracks and stations as many as 60 times across the country, in the past five years.