Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013

Editorial

Derailing railway by hartal activists

These acts of sabotage must stop

IN a hartal-related violence, six compartments of Chittagong-bound train from Dhaka were torn off the main body as it derailed near Comilla on Tuesday. Removal of fishplates of the railway track was the cause of the accident.

Apart from 30 people sustaining injuries, the accident disrupted communication of the capital city with Chittagong, Sylhet and Mymensingh for some 15 hours.

Thankfully, human casualties from the accident were not severe, but it could be worse. According to a report, just half an hour before the accident another train had passed along the same railway track without incident.

This is yet another act of sabotage on the train lines in a series of  some 96 cases over the last six months during hartals. Injuries to persons and threats to the passengers’ lives apart, these accidents caused a loss of around Tk.90 million to the railway.

To the hartal callers these might have been instances of successful operations, but to the victim passengers, those were nothing but cruel political game played on them by putting their lives in jeopardy to serve the opposition’s narrow political end.

But who do the hartal enforcers think they are punishing in this manner? Are the victims of the Comilla incident, for example, their enemies?

This kind of disruptive activities endangering the lives of unsuspecting travellers and causing damage to public property in the name of hartal cannot be accepted anymore.

Those behind the hartal-related violent accidents on the communications arteries of the country are carrying designs subversive to the nation. What they are doing is purely criminal and should be treated as a culpable offence. The police should ferret out the offenders involved in this criminal act and make them face justice according to the law of the land.

Hopefully, the probe committee formed by the railway authority will be able to recommend safeguards for the railways at this juncture.