PATNA, India (Reuters) - Seven coaches of one of India’s most prestigious passenger trains derailed Tuesday after Maoists rebels bombed the railway line, police said.
Dozens of passengers were injured as seven compartments of the high-speed Rajdhani Express, traveling from the mineral-rich state of Orissa to New Delhi, jumped off the tracks in eastern India.
Rail services between eastern and central India was disrupted for several hours as a result of the rebel attack, police said.
“They are fast losing public support and hence they are targeting the common man out of frustration,” Promod Kumar Thakur, a senior police officer said in Bihar state, where the attack took place.
In the last 24 hours, the rebels, who are protesting against a government offensive against them, blew up a small bridge, several sections of railway tracks and a government building in eastern India.
The rebellion began four decades ago, championing the cause of poor peasants in the east, but has now spread to about 20 of India’s 28 states, with the rebels targeting police and government property in hit-and-run attacks.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has warned officials that the rebels have managed to retain support among a cross-section of society and remain the country’s biggest internal security threat.
Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan