Indian Railways either cancelled or diverted several trains passing through coastal Andhra Pradesh in view of the violence that broke out during protests by the Kapu community over their demand for quotas.
The train traffic on Vijayawada-Rajahmundry-Visakhapatnam section of Vijayawada division of the South Central Railway came to a halt as protestors squatted on the tracks near Tuni in East Godavari district.
The protestors set afire Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam Ratnachal Express near Tuni, forcing railway authorities to fully or partially cancel or divert trains.
According to railway officials, train No. 12717 Vijayawada – Visakhapatnam Ratnachal Express was stopped around 3.20 p.m. between Tuni and Hamsavaram railway stations.
The protestors damaged the locomotive and after the passengers got down, set afire four coaches.
Ravindra Gupta, general manager, South Central Railway, held an emergency meeting at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad to review the situation.
He spoke to chief secretary and top police officials of Andhra Pradesh to discuss the steps to be taken for passenger safety.
The railway officials have made arrangements wherever trains have been regulated to provide food, water and medical needs including the requirements of children and senior citizens.
The cancelled trains include Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Garibrath Express, Tirupati- Visakhapatnam Tirumala Express, Visakhapatnam-Rajahmundry Passenger, Rayagada-Vijayawada Passenger, Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Passenger, Visakhapatnam-Machilipatnam Passenger, Vijayawada- Rayagada Passenger, Machilipatnam-Visakhapatnam Passenger, Narsapur-Visakhapatnam Passenger, Nidadavolu-Bhimavaraam Passenger, Visakhapatnam-Hyderabad Godavari Express, Visakhapatnam- Secunderabad Garibrath Express, Visakhapatnam-Secunderabad AC express, and Visakhapatnam- Secunderabad Duronto Express
Secunderabad-Howrah Falknuma Express, Howrah-Vascoda Gama Amaravathi Express, Tirupathi- Bhubaneswar, Yeswanthapur-Howrah Duranto Express and Mangalore-Santragachi Vivek Express were diverted via Ballarsha.