Howrah: The Railways would take strong
action against acts of sabotage targeting rail network and
those preventing such incidents would be given jobs in the
organisation, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said today.
"Acts of sabotage will not be tolerated. Railway tracks
are being cut. Pandrol clips are being opened. Signals are
being rendered inoperative. It is not possible to police every
inch of track. If anyone prevents sabotage, the Railways will
give him a job," she said at a function at Howrah station.
Appealing to newspersons to keep a vigil against acts of
sabotage, she said if any of them reports such an act, his
family would also be offered a job in the Railways.
"The general managers of the Eastern, South Eastern and
Metro Railway will let you know where to report such acts,"
Calling upon the railway employees to keep a watch on
every kilometre of railway track, he said those doing good
work in maintenance aspects would be rewarded.
Without naming any political party, she said, "Do not
kill people for your political interest. Do not cause mishaps
Referring to the killing of Umakanto Mahato, a prime
suspect in the Jnaneswari Express disaster, in an encounter
with the police, she said, "If they think they can wipe out
evidence by killing a prime suspect in the Jnaneswari Express
sabotage, it is a wrong theory."
Pointing out that the Jnaneswari Express mishap had taken
place ahead of the civic elections, she felt acts of sabotage
in the Railway could also take place ahead of the Durga Puja.
After the Jnaneswari Express derailment, Banerjee had
claimed that ruling CPI(M) could be behind the incident.
Noting that 14 lakh people were employed with the
Railways, Banerjee said that while "one or two" of them could
be involved in acts of sabotage, a majority of the employees
worked with "military discipline".
"If any political party asks you to do anything bad, do
not listen. Do not do anything bad even if I tell you to do
it. Political parties may come and go. But the railways are an
institution. This institution has to be saved," Banerjee
She said that as part of a safety-related scheme, jobs
will be offered to an offspring of a railway employee if he
opts for voluntary retirement after 20 years of service.
The Railway Minister announced a reward of Rs 50,000 to
the driver of the Rajdhani Express whose timely action saved
the train from being derailed at Baruipara on August 30.
On the CPI(M)`s allegation that she had failed to fill up
two lakh vacancies in the railways that had accumulated in the
past years, Banerjee said, "You were there (with the UPA-I).
Why didn`t you fill it up?"
Altogether 36,000 applications for Group-C posts were now
being processed, she said adding that applications from SC/ST,
minority and ex-servicemen candidates as well as those
excelling in social and cultural sectors were being
"We have to fill up these vacancies. Or else, there will
be problems because infrastructure is expanding," she said.