In the third suspected act of sabotage within a fortnight, a six-foot long discarded overhead equipment was found lying on the rail tracks between Jasai and Dapoli stations near Uran in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The incident took place around 3 AM on Wednesday when an alert driver of a JNPT bound goods train, coming from Ratlam in MP spotted it and applied the brakes resulting in a halt around 50 metres ahead of the abandoned rail piece, a railway official said.
The route is typically used to transport freight from JNPT to and from other parts of the country. The motorman, along with his assistants, removed the mast and alerted the authorities.
Subsequently, a FIR against unknown persons was lodged with the Panvel City Police under relevant sections of IPC and Railway Act, said the official, adding that the operating staff was already on high alert following the recent incidents.
According to Sachin Balode, senior divisional security commissioner (RPF) of Mumbai Division of Central Railway, an investigation into the (current) incident is underway and “we are yet to ascertain whether it is an act of track sabotage.”
“We have enhanced vigilance as much as possible. We are right now concentrating on getting intelligence about the suspected sabotage by miscreants,” he added.
This is third such incident since January 24 when a 7-meter-long rail piece, weighing around 400 kgs was found placed on the tracks near Diva station adjoining Mumbai. The alert train driver of Madgaon-Dadar Janshatabdi Express had then averted a mishap by applying emergency brakes.
Earlier this week, on February 6, a huge piece of rail rod was found placed on the tracks between Kalamboli and Taloja stations at Navi Mumbai in Raigad district.
In the wake of these incidents, railways has instructed its crews to remain vigilant and report anomalies on priority.
With agency inputs