BENGALURU: A four-year-old child on board the Prashanti Express was injured when vandals along the track pelted stones at its windows on Friday. Hours before this incident, 14 panes of the Rajdhani Express were damaged in another incident near Malleswaram.
Jagurathi Rath, travelling in the A-1 coach from Bengaluru City to Prashanti, suffered a bleeding cut on the chin when a stone was hurled at the window. He was travelling with his father Karthik Eashwar Rath.
The incident took place near Yelahanka after the train had left the City station at 2 pm. Soundararajan, Railway Divisional Operations Manager, said, “The boy’s father decided to discontinue the journey. They got off when the train stopped at Yelahanka.” The railway staff provided first aid and sent the boy to a private hospital, he told Express.
On Thursday night, the Rajdhani Express was similarly vandalised near the Malleswaram station. No one was injured, but the synchronised attack left passengers rattled.
Amit Saran, Senior Divisional Mechanical Engineer, said the train, connecting Bengaluru City with Hazrat Nizammudin, had departed at 8.20 pm. The fully air-conditioned train’s next stop was Secunderabad. “As it neared the Malleswaram station 10 minutes later, a volley of stones hit the sealed glass panes. The AC first tier, second tier and third tier coaches were targeted,” he said.
Two of the windows were smashed extensively and had to be replaced at the Secunderabad station. “Such damage causes water seepage inside the AC coaches and must be fixed at once,” he said.
Some passengers were terrified. S Venkataramakrishna, manager (Design) at HAL, Hyderabad, was in Coach A1. “We heard a loud crash and saw the windows damaged. Two senior citizens seated across me were petrified as a stone made a gaping hole in their window,” he said.
Another passenger, S Senthil, said, “Everyone was frightened when the hail of stones hit our coach.”
Sunanda Arul, Additional Divisional Railway Manager, said the overall loss worked out to Rs 70,000 as replacing each pane costs Rs 5,000.
Ironically, the Railway Protection Force had conducted an awareness rally at the City station on Thursday, with officers talking about how vandalism affects passengers.
“The rally was held on various platforms and we plan to take the message to other stations as well,” said S Louis Amuthan, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF.
“Vigilance will be intensified to curb such incidents,” he said.
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