Saturday, May 08, 2010

Close call for Modi in Red blast

TNN, May 9, 2010, 04.55am IST

KATIHAR: Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and PWD minister Prem Kumar had a providential escape as the Guwahati-bound North East Express, by which they were travelling from Patna to Katihar, crossed the Bakri-Kursela stretch only minutes before suspected Maoists blew up a portion of the track between the two stations around 6 am on Saturday.

Katihar superintendent of railway police Anil Kumar Singh said the blast was the handiwork of Naxalites. "They struck towards the fag end of the 48-hour bandh called by them," he said, adding this was the second blast on the railway tracks in the area by the Maoists during the past 24 hours, the earlier being near Mansi.

Railway's Sonepur division commercial manager Shikha Tripathy said the impact of the blast was so severe that the tracks were twisted. Train serv-ices between Barauni and Katihar, disrupted for over three hours, have since been restored.

Modi, who attended a public function at Barsoi in Katihar district, said the state government has been tackling the Maoist menace by addressing their grievances.

"Development projects are also being launched in the Naxal-affected areas."

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