West Bengal: Stones pelted at Vande Bharat Express, windows damaged
Unidentified miscreants pelted stones at the newly launched Vande Bharat Express between West Bengal's Kumarganj and Malda Railway Stations, damaging several window panes and one main door glass, as per reports. The incident came just four days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually flagged off the engineless train. Notably, it is India's seventh Vande Bharat Express and operated from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri Junction.
What did officials say about the incident?
Speaking about the incident, a senior railway official said, "There was a case of stone pelting on the New Jalpaiguri-Howrah Vande Bharat Express at Kumarganj around 5:50 pm on Monday." They added that no one was hurt, but one main door glass was damaged. Notably, PM Narendra Modi flagged off this Vande Bharat Express on Friday, a day before it began passenger services.
Eyewitnesses express shock over the incident
Meanwhile, passengers on the train expressed shock while narrating the incident. Rintu Ghosh, a passenger from Dankuni, told India Today that some people pelted stones at the train from outside. "It was shocking. The glass got shattered by the impact. It happened just before the train reached Malda Station. Thankfully, the chunk of stone did not hurt any of the passengers," they added.
Railways orders probe into stone-pelting incident
According to some railway officials, details about who hurled the stones at the train in the dark and for what reason are unknown yet. Meanwhile, the railway authorities have also announced a thorough inquiry into the event. Asif Khan, a railway employee onboard the affected Vande Bharat Express, told India Today that stones were thrown from outside at Kumarganj as it was moving.
BJP blames TMC for the attack, demands NIA probe
The incident has triggered a political blame game between the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). "Unfortunate & sickening. Stones pelted at India's pride Vande Bharat Express in WB's Malda district. Is this revenge for 'Jai Shree Ram' chants on the inaugural day?" tweeted BJP MLA-West Bengal Assembly LoP, Suvendu Adhikary. He also demanded a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe.
TMC leader Kunal Ghosh's allegations of conspiracy against WB
Details on Bengal's Vande Bharat Express
West Bengal got its first and the nation's seventh Vande Bharat Express on December 30. According to officials, the blue-and-white train covers a distance of 564km in just 7:45 hours. Operating between Howrah and New Jalpaiguri, it will have three stoppages at Bolpur, Barsoi, and Malda. The country's sixth Vande Bharat Express was inaugurated on the Nagpur (Maharashtra)-Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) route on December 11.