During strong protests and demonstrations, the properties of the India Railways like trains and railway tracks were frequently targeted and the ongoing protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) doesn’t seem to end anytime soon. In fact, there have been several scenarios in the past few days where trains were attacked and tracks were blocked, thereby disrupting the railway services by demonstrators.
Now, Minister of State in the Railways Ministry identified Suresh Angadi has courted controversy by ordering shoot at sight anyone destroys the public property. “I strictly warn concerned district administration and railway authorities, if anybody destroys public property, including railway, I direct as a Minister, shoot them at sight”, Angadi told news agency ANI while responding to a question regarding the railway facing losses in West Bengal and other states owing to the ongoing protests in the region.
The minister further went on to add saying that it is taxpayers’ money and it takes years to develop a train. “If anybody throws stones at that time government should take stringent action like Vallabhbhai Patel. Local minorities, some communities are unnecessarily creating problems to destabilize the country’s economy,” he added.
It should be noted that over the past few days, protesters set fire to the Beldanga railway station complex in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district and then blocked tracks. The situation went from bad to worse when they vandalized the complex at the Uluberia railway station in Howrah district. At Krishnapur station in Murshidabad district, a number of vacant trains were set ablaze, while railway tracks at Lalgola station were destroyed.
The agitators set fire on train tracks at Harishchandrapur in Malda district and after which, dozens of trains in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura had also been delayed or cancelled since the protests broke out in the 3 states against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Eastern Railway on Tuesday cancelled as many as 19 trains owing to the ongoing unrest across the country over the protests. “In connection with law and order problem in the jurisdiction of Northeast Frontier Railway and in New Farakka-Azimganj and Krishnanagar-Lalgola Sections of Eastern Railway, 19 trains have been canceled for today,” Public Relations Officer of Eastern Railway added in a release.
CAA seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities running away from religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, and who reached India on or before December 31, 2014.