Police zeroing in on 3-4 men in stoning of Rahul's train

Police zeroing in on 3-4 men in stoning of Rahul`s train Panipat (Haryana): Police were on Wednesday zeroing in on three to four young men in connection with the stoning of the Shatabdi train in which Rahul Gandhi was travelling last night, as forensic experts joined the probe.

Rohtak Range IGP V Kamaraj said the Government Railway Police, Panipat has registered a case under section 152 (damaging railway property) of the Indian Railways Act against unidentified persons. Rahul(39), who was travelled in Chair Car (C-3), was safe but a crack had developed in one of the windowpanes of this compartment.

Police are probing all angles and investigating whether the incident in which the Amritsar-Shatabdi express was targeted near here was deliberate or another stray stone throwing case, as questions were raised whether security of the Gandhi family should be compromised in austerity drive.

Kamaraj said broken glass pieces and some stones found in the train had been taken for forensic examination at the Forensic Laboratory at Madhuban in Karnal district. Some windowpanes in five coaches were in all damaged but no one ws hurt. Rahul had boarded the train from Ludhiana.

"As the train was moving at a slow speed, the guard of the train reported having seen three to four young men throwing stones at the coaches," Kamaraj said. "We have identified the place where the incident happended."

Kamaraj said the guard told the police that the train was moving at a slow speed near the Anaj Mandi of Gharaunda in Karnal district due to some repair work on the tracks on the Karnal-Panipat section.

He said the guard has also shouted at the young men asking them not to pelt stones, but by then the window panes of some bogies had already suffered damage. The guard, he said, was in his cabin at the rear end of the train.

"The guard could not clearly see the faces of the miscreants in the darkness," the IGP said.

Rahul Gandhi had made the day-trip to Punjab's industrial city of Ludhiana to participate in a training camp for Youth Congress leaders. He took the train early from New Delhi station and returned late in the evening.

The Congress MP from Amethi followed his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi in travelling economy class. The 38-year-old Congress leader chose to travel by train as part of the party's austerity drive because of the drought in many parts of the country.

Sonia Gandhi had Monday travelled by a routine Delhi-Mumbai flight on an economy-class seat as part of the austerity drive.

Bureau Report