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Violence erupts at MP station on Budget day

Vidisha: When Union Railway Minister PK Bansal was presenting his maiden Rail Budget in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, highlighting the need for improving safety mechanism, almost at the same time two children were runover by a speeding train while crossing the racks at Gulabganj railway station in Madhya Pradesh.

The incident triggered violence and arson at the railway station in which a railway employee was burnt alive and another was battling for life with serious injuries.  Siblings Mohammad Ali (5) and his eight-year-old sister Icra were crushed to death by a speeding Sampark Kranti Express at Gulabganj station, about 20 km from here, when they
were crossing the tracks in the absence of a foot overbridge from under a stationary goods train, railway sources said.

The tragic incident came on a day when Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal presented his maiden budget in the Lok Sabha that included a slew of safety measures. Sources said the incident apparently occurred as no announcement was made about the fast approaching Sampark Kranti Express, which does not halt at Gulabganj.

Major railway accidents of 2012

11 January 2012: Five persons die and nine others sustain injuries when New Delhi-bound Bramhaputra Mail and a goods train collided at Karonpuroto, about 25 kilometres from Sahibganj in Jharkhand

26 February 2012: Three people die and one man sustains injures when Kozhikode-bound Jan Satabdi Express hit a crowd of people watching Uthralikkavu pooram fireworks standing on the tracks near Thrissur in Kerala

20 March 2012: Fifteen people die and three others receive injuries when the Mathura-Kasganj Express rammed into a van at an unmanned railway crossing near Mendu railway station in Hathras (Mahamaya Nagar) district

22 May 2012: At least 14 persons die and many others receive injuries when the Hubli-Bangalore, Hampi Express collided with a goods train near Penukonda in Andhra Pradesh

31 May 2012: Five persons lost lives and 50 others sustained injuries when several bogies of the Howrah-Dehradun Doon Express derailed near Mahrawa station near Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh.

30 July 2012: Over 45 people lost their lives and many others sustained injuries due to the fire in a coach of the Tamil Nadu Express near Nellore in Andhra Pradesh.

16 October 2012: At least two persons were charred to death and several others got severe burn injuries when a bogie of Solapur-bound passenger train from Hyderabad caught fire in Gulbarga

Earlier reports attributed to police had said that the children got crushed by a goods train which moved suddenly when they were crossing from under it. As the news about the tragedy spread, angry villagers disrupted rail traffic by blocking both up and down tracks and then set on fire the station building, trapping Assistant Station Master Sanket Bansal and Point Supervisor Bhagwan Das inside.

A team from the nearby police station reached the spot to control the situation but by then both had received serious burn injuries. While Das succumbed before he could receive medical help, Bansal was shifted to Bhopal in a critical condition. Several trains were halted at Bina, Bhopal and Vidisha stations due to the protest which paralysed train services on the busy Delhi-Chennai route for nearly four-and-a-half-hours.

Vidisha Collector Anand Sharma and Superintendent of Police B P Chandrawanshi intervened and persuaded the villagers to call off the protest. A demonstration was also staged at the Bhopal railway station with protesters demanding registration of a murder case against those responsible for the Gulabganj tragedy.

(JPN/Agencies)

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