New Delhi: In a major relief to passengers, train services to Assam were partially restored on Wednesday after the army staged flag marches in the violence-affected areas of the state.
The stranded trains started moving from 2.45 PM onwards escorted by RPF and GRP personnel. The Dibrugarh Rajdhani, Poorvotar Samparkkranti Express, Secunderabad-Guwahati Express, Kanyakumari-Dibrigarh Express and Kanchanjangha Express were among eight trains which were stranded at various stations leading upto Assam for more than 24 hours.
Army troops were deployed in the four districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon where they staged flag marches accompanied by a magistrate. However, unavailability of rakes prompted Northern Railway to cancel Delhi-Dibrugarh Brahmputra Mail from here.
"It will take some time for the complete restoration of trains services in the state," said a senior Railway Ministry official adding "steps are being taken to provide food, water, medicine and security to passengers of stranded trains."
More than 25 trains and 30,000 passengers were stranded on Tuesday in different places along the route since Monday, but now many of them have made alternative arrangements. Still more than 10,000 passengers remained stranded.
In view of the situation, Northeast Frontier Railway has also sought more RPSF personnel from the Railway Ministry. Railway Minister Mukul Roy on Tuesday spoke to Home Minister P Chidambaram to seek adequate security forces or the safety of trains and passengers.
Railways have sought deployment of adequate number of security forces specially at the 54-km-long route, the badly affected area between Srirampur and Salakati stations, to ensure smooth and safe movement of trains.       

Roy also spoke to Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and urged him to provide adequate security to allow movement of trains and ensure safety of passengers.

Many passengers who reached here complained of facing a harrowing time as the trains remained stranded in various stations for long hours.

Rajesh Kalita, who was travelling with his wife and two-year-old son by the New Delhi-Guwahati Rajdhani Express which was attacked by miscreants in lower Assam, said they were stranded at Kamakhyaguri railway station in West Bengal for the past two days virtually without any amenities.
"One bottle of water was available for Rs 50 and a packet of bread cost the same - provided you are lucky to get it," he said.
Ranjan Das, who was passenger in the up Samparkranti Express, too complained of facing shortage of food. "In New Bongaigaon railway station the situation was chaotic with the railway authorities not being able to provide any details of train movement."
When contacted NFR sources said the Railways were not to be blamed as the state government had failed to provide security.


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