Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Passengers were confused as nothing was communicated to them on the unscheduled long halt at the station. Presuming the disturbance in the state as the cause, many passengers made enquiries in a state of panic
PUNJAB Updated: Aug 29, 2017  Amarpal Singh  Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
A security guard deployed with loco pilot in a train at railway station in Ludhiana on Monday.(Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Fearing that situation in Punjab could turn violent after the sentencing of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the driver of Shan-E-Punjab Express that started from New Delhi to its final destination, Amritsar, halted in Ludhiana for 45 minutes, seeking the deployment of a guard in his coach. The scheduled stop in the city is three minutes.

The driver claimed that when the train started from New Delhi, a security personnel accompanied him. From Ambala, another guard also accompanied him in his coach. However, at the Ludhiana railway station, the guard got down, claiming that he had finished his shift.

The train reached Ludhiana at 2.25pm — already delayed by two hours and 21 minutes from its scheduled time of 12.04pm. Responding to the driver’s insistence, the railways made a public announcement at the station, requesting the Railway Police Force (RPF) at the station to attend to the train driver of Shan-E-Punjab Express that was standing at platform number 2. Finally, the RPF deputed a jawan from the Punjab Home Guard and the train departed from the station at 3.10pm.

“A guard was provided to me since the start of the journey. The personnel who was with me from Ambala to Ludhiana who de-boarded in Ludhiana, after his shift got over,” the driver said.

Divisional Traffic Manager (DTM) SP Bhatia said that there were instructions for Monday that apart from the railway police in the train, an additional cop will travel along with the train pilot in the engine for security reasons. “The train pilot was just implementing the instruction that for Monday, a guard will accompany him. The railway police took time to deploy the guard,” he said.

RPF sub-inspector Vishram Meena said, “The train pilot was demanding a security person and a cop was provided to him.”

Passengers were confused as nothing was communicated to them on the unscheduled long halt at the station. Presuming the disturbance in the state as the cause, many passengers made enquiries in a state of panic.

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