West Bengal: Stones pelted at Vande Bharat Express near Malda station; BJP demands NIA investigation
The Railway official said that the glass door of coach number C13 of 22303 Vande Bharat Express was damaged on Monday evening near Kumarganj railway station, about 50 kilometres from Malda town; however, no injuries were reported.
The Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Vande Bharat Express was pelted with stones in West Bengal's Malda district just days after its inaugural run, prompting the Bharatiya Janat Party (BJP) to demand an NIA investigation.
The incident occured on Monday evening near Kumarganj railway station, about 50 kilometres from Malda town; however, no injuries were reported, confirmed Railway officials.
The Railway official said that the glass door of coach number C13 of 22303 Vande Bharat Express was damaged in the incident. Kumarganj falls under the Northeast Frontier Railway's Katihar division (NFR) jurisdiction.
The official said that the train was not stopped in the middle of its journey after the incident happened at 5:10 pm on Monday; instead, it was stopped at Malda Town railway station.
Malda Town railway station Government Railway Police (GRP) IC Prashant Rai said that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) is investigating the incident. PM Modi, on December 30, virtually flagged off the train from the Howrah station.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the West Bengal Assembly and the BJP leader, Suvendu Adhikari, asked whether the incident was the revenge for the raising of 'Jai Shree Ram' slogans at the Howrah station's inaugural function.
He took to Twitter and wrote, "It's unfortunate and sickening. Stones were thrown at India's pride, the Vande Bharat Express, in West Bengal's Malda district. Is this revenge for the 'Jai Shree Ram' slogans on the day of the inauguration? I urge @PMOIndia and @RailMinIndia to hand the investigation to @NIA India and punish the perpetrators. @AshwiniVaishnaw."
At the inauguration ceremony, BJP workers raised 'Jai Shree Ram' slogans prompting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to refuse to stand on the dais where the train was flagged off.
Despite efforts to calm her down by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Governor CV Ananda Bose, she chose to sit on a chair below the dais with the audience.
The Trinamool Congress took issue with the raising of 'political slogans' at a government event, which was made more solemn by the passing of the prime minister's mother. The BJP attempted to downplay the incident, with Vaishnaw claiming that nothing had happened to cause any angst as party workers frequently raise slogans.
(With inputs from PTI)