The Vande Bharat Express, which was flagged off in Kerala by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 25, was reportedly attacked by a stone on its journey from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. The incident occurred near Tirur Railway Station in Malappuram district, where the train has not been allowed to stop. A passenger spotted the cracks in a window and informed the loco pilot, but the train continued its journey to Shoranur, where the railway protection force inspected the damage. The local police have begun an investigation into the incident.
The attack comes amid protests against the train not being allowed to stop at Tirur station. The train had stopped there during its inaugural run and was given a grand welcome. However, the stop was later withdrawn, leading to strikes and protests. According to reports, incidents of stone pelting on the Vande Bharat Express have been reported from Telangana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and West Bengal since its inaugural run in February 2019. This is the first such incident in Kerala.
As the investigation continues, the Indian Railways issued a statement condemning the attack. ‘We strongly condemn this act of vandalism and appeal to the people to desist from such acts,’ the statement said. The Railways also assured passengers that necessary measures would be taken to ensure their safety and security. The incident serves as a reminder of the need for vigilance and security measures to protect public assets and ensure safe travel for passengers.