Four passengers were injured when protesters threw stones at Alleppey Express in Dhanbad district today during the rail roko agitation called by the opposition parties to protest the closure of Dhanbad- Chandrapur railway line, police said. Protesters threw stones at Dhanbad-Alappuza Alleppey express on the Grand Chord line between Dhanbad and Nichitpur halt damaging windows of AC bogey in which four passengers including a woman were injured, the police said. After getting the information Dhanbad deputy commissioner, A Dodde, senior superintendent of police Manoj Ratan Chauthe and other officials reached spot and dispersed the protesters. Opposition parties - Congress, JMM, JD(U) - had given a call for a rail roko today to protest the closure of Dhanbad-Chandrapur railway line under Dhanbad Rail Division of East Central Railway (ECR). On June 12 Railway Board had announced closure of 34 km long Dhanbad-Chandrapura rail track due to raging underground mines fire. Earlier in the day, Congress leader and and former minister OP Lal, JD(U) state president Jaleswar Mahto, AJSU leader Subhas Ray and JMM leader Rajendra Prasad tried to stop train movement at Nischitpur halt but police detained them. After the four leaders were detained by police, their supporters damaged a dumper of BCCL at Guribandh colliery and a truck at Salanpur colliery, the police said. The protesters also stopped a good rain for some time but the police and RPF chased them away. Meanwhile, in Ranchi the BJP asked the JMM to ask the Congress what the latter did about the the underground fire. "Former chief minister (and JMM working president) Hemant Soren should question its ally Congress about the Chandrapura Rail line closure.
The responsibility is of the Congress, and not the BJP's," BJP's state unit spokesman Praveen Prabhakar said in a press release here. He claimed that the underground fire was known in 2005 and asked what the Congress did about it. Prabhakar said had the Manmohan Singh government taken timely step then people would not have faced any difficulty. The BJP leader claimed that both the Centre and the state governments have made enough efforts to provide facilities to the people. Some trains are being diverted while the railway board would soon take decision on some other trains, he said. Twenty-two buses have started plying on Chandrapura route, Prabhakar said. For an alternative route for Dhanbad-Chandrapura line, the government has already made a survey through RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service), which would be of 42 km long and would be completed in four years with Rs 3200 crore, Prabhakar said.