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Two Arrested in Odisha After Stone Pelting Incident on Vande Bharat Express as a ‘Fun’ Activity

BHUBANESWAR (Metro Rail & Steel): In a concerning incident, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) apprehended two individuals for their involvement in hurling stones at the Vande Bharat Express between Meramandali and Budhapank railway stations in the Angul-Dhenkanal section of East Coast Railway (ECoR).

The accused, identified as Bijay Kumar Lenka (42) and Santosh Kumar Maharana (30), confessed to indulging in the reckless act of throwing stones at the Rourkela-Puri Vande Bharat Express after consuming alcohol, citing it as a form of entertainment. Following their arrest, the duo was presented before the judicial magistrate first class at Dhenkanal and subsequently remanded in judicial custody after their bail plea was dismissed.

Reports indicated that the executive chair car coach of the semi high-speed train sustained damage to a windowpane due to the stones thrown by the offenders while the train was en route to Bhubaneswar on Sunday night. Passengers onboard were understandably alarmed as the stones struck the glass windows in close proximity to their seating areas.

A coordinated effort by RPF officials from Talcher and a team from the Crime Investigation Branch (CIB) of RPF at Khurda Road led to the arrest of the miscreants during an ambush check conducted around 5:30 pm.

According to an official statement from the East Coast Railway (ECoR), the arrested individuals were found loitering near the railway track in an isolated area. When confronted by the team, Lenka and Maharana admitted to having consumed alcohol and confessed to the act of throwing stones at the train for amusement. They have been charged under sections 153, 145(C), and 147 of the Railway Act.

In response to the incident, ECoR has issued directives to the RPF and GRP (Government Railway Police) to heighten vigilance and intensify surveillance measures to prevent such occurrences in the future.

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