Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 01 October 2023 2.04 PM IST

Train fire, repeated Vande Bharat attacks, and more..; intolerance in Kerala?


The Elathur train fire case sent shock waves across Kerala and the country. The NIA is still nosing around waiting to confirm about the suspected terror angle. Those turmoil is still reverberating when another train fire case stunned the state yesterday. The authorities were puzzled when details emerged told the train that caught fire yesterday was the same one that went into flames in Elathur. Luckily, the compartment had no passengers and the disaster was thwarted away. The Fireforce did tremendous work to douse the fire in less time. Meanwhile, suspicions are ringing bells as the fire happened very close to the Bharat petroleum reserve godown.

It was on April 2nd that Sharook Saifi entered into a coach which was moving towards Kannur. Saifi ignited a fire that burned nearly eight people. The victims sustained only minor injuries but more gruesome details awaited late into the night. A family including children fearing the fire decided to jump from the moving train but never came back to life.

Much like Saifi, the man arrested yesterday near Kannur showed signs of mental imbalance. Albeit the mental fall in these criminals, it has turned out such that anyone can easily bring inflammable liquids inside trains which is nothing if a disastrous fall for the security forces.

After Elathur, our special editorial brought to light the need for a more constructive plan to quell such attacks inside the train. Rails, a most preferred transportation service shall not be made into a fortress for such experimental noodlings of criminals. However, the authorities in both center and state are moving sloth pace in bringing newer policies to stymie such actions.

The elite Vande Bharat trains are attacked repeatedly in Kerala. Stones are hurled into the trains mainly in the northern belt. The culprits are still at large and the railways bother less about such incidents. The surveillance format of trains in Kerala is also on the back foot. The state and centre should combine work on more plans to install CCTV cameras in trains and outside major stations. Juxtaposing both Elathur and Kannur incidents brings many conclusions. Doubts are swirling all over about the terrorist angle, which is looming around citizens of the state. The centre should get rid of the lax and act for the lakhs depending on trains for their daily travel.

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