Over 400 people were arrested by RPF and more than 1500 incidents of stone pelting were reported by railways in 2022. Earlier this month, coaches of the Vande Bharat train were pelted with stones at the Visakhapatnam railway station in the Kancharapalem area. Several windows of the train were shattered.
“During the year 1,503 cases of stone pelting on moving trains were registered by RPF followed by the arrest of 488 persons. Several awareness drives are being made by RPF using different means to educate residents near the railway track. In this drive more than 100 persons carrying inflammable/crackers in trains were also arrested,” the Railways said in a statement highlighting the achievements of the RPF throughout the year.
Many thrill seeking mischievous anarchists are involved in the stone pelting of Indian trains, especially the premium ones. In a recent case, four men, all aged between 18 and 20 years, from Dehat Kotwali in Mirzapur district, were arrested for pelting stones at two Rajdhani trains on Monday.
They were identified with the help of CCTV footage. One of the accused was still absconding. “The youngsters were captured in CCTV taking selfies in front of a goods train on Sunday. Later they pelted stones at the 12302 Howrah Rajdhani Express and 12314 New Delhi-Sealdah Express. Dozen window panes of nine coaches of Howrah Rajdhani Express and two of Sealdah Rajdhani Express were damaged in the incidents. We have arrested four of them while the fifth one is absconding”, said the assistant security commissioner of North Central Railway (NCR), Prayagraj, TK Agnihotri.
While occurrences of stone pelting on different trains remain generally unreported, instances of stone pelting on the indigenously manufactured Vande Bharat have garnered wide exposure.
Not long after the first such train was launched it was attacked with stones in Tundla in Uttar Pradesh. It likewise confronted stone pelters close to Sadar here during which a windowpane of a mentor was harmed when it passed on Delhi’s Sakurbasti to arrive at New Delhi Rail line Station to start its trial run to Allahabad.
Similarly, during another trial run between Delhi and Agra on December 20, 2018, stones were hurled at the train as well in the Mathura district.