Ahmednagar: Police and railway officials here hoodwinked Bharatiya Janata Party activists headed to Jammu and Kashmir for the Republic Day flag hoisting and shunted their special train back to Karnataka early Sunday.
The Bengaluru-New Delhi Karnataka Express, whose 18 bogies were full of Karnataka BJP youth activists, arrived at Sarola station in the district and was due for onward departure to the north.
The activists, estimated at around 1,500, were scheduled to join other colleagues from different states for the party`s Tiranga Yatra in Srinagar on January 26.
However, the centre and Jammu and Kashmir government have already announced that political activists from other states would not be allowed to create mischief. The local railway authorities here acted swiftly to thwart the onward journey of the train.
When the train halted here, they blacked out Sarola railway station.
Taking advantage of the blanket of darkness, they detached the train`s engine and attached it to the rear of the train.
Two more bogies with around 150 Railway Protection Force personnel were also attached to the train and around 1.30 am, it "started" its journey - but in the reverse direction and back to Karnataka.
It was only too late when the BJP workers, many of them fast asleep, in the train realised that they had been taken for a ride and halted the train at Nagansur station on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border.
A railway official said that "the drastic measure was implemented in order to avoid any untoward situation in Maharashtra."
The police operation resulted in delays of two other trains traversing by the route.