Railway property worth Rs 80 crore was damaged during protests across the country against the amended citizenship law and the recovery will be made from those found involved in arson and violence, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav said on December 30.
Days after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by Parliament, protests broke out in several parts of the country with violent clashes between the agitators and police leading to several people being detained and arrested. Angry protestors burnt buses, laid siege on tracks and even burnt train coaches.
"There has been damage of railway property worth Rs 80 crore during anti-CAA protests. Of this, the Eastern Railway suffered damage worth Rs 70 crore and the damage suffered by the Northeast Frontier Railway was worth Rs 10 crore.
"The damage will be recovered from those found involved in arson and violence. This, however, is a preliminary estimate and the figure could go up after the final analysis," Yadav said.
In West Bengal, where a portion of the ticket counter at the Sankrail railway station was set on fire by the protesters, the Sujnipara railway station was vandalised, several trains standing at the Krishnapur railway station near Lalgola were set ablaze and the Harishchandrapur station in the neighbouring Malda district was vandalised, the railways is expected to recover the losses from those booked in these cases.
Earlier, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had demanded strict action from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee against those who damaged railway property.
"Law and order is a state subject and they are working on it. Recoveries will be made," Yadav said, refusing to reveal the modalities.
Railway property was vandalised in Assam too, where the Northeast Frontier Railway has also suffered losses for cancellation of trains.
Sources indicated that those found guilty of damaging railway property would be charged under section 151 of the Indian Railway Act, which has a provision of maximum seven years of imprisonment.
The railways, sources said, could also go to court to recover the cost of damage.
While Yadav did not say how the miscreants involved in the vandalism will be identified, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said assets of those involved in the anti-CAA protests and the ensuing violence in the state will be confiscated and the damage done to public property recovered. He has said the protesters will be identified through video clips and CCTV footage.