Lalu announces Rs 3 lakh compensation for Rai's kins

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New Delhi, Oct 29 (UNI) Strongly condemning the killing of another north Indian Dharamdev Rai, in Maharashtra by Marathi-speaking men on board a local train, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

The 25-year-old labourer hailing from Gorakhpur was beaten to death by a group of Marathi-speaking men on board a Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus bound local train at Khopali station on the Central Railway in Mumbai yesterday.

Talking to newspersons, the Railway Minister reiterated his demand for a ban on Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) of Mr Raj Thakeray and action against him for inciting the locals against the north-Indians.

He maintained that the Maharashtrians were generally peace-loving people but persons like Mr Thackeray were misleading them for meeting their political ends. He demanded the strongest action against the culprits and immediate halt in violence against North-Indians in Maharashtra, including Mumbai.

The Railway Minister said he had talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of violence in Maharashtra against North-Indians and he was confident he would do the needful in this regard. He said he had also spoken to Maharashtra Chief Minister about the shooting down of Rahul Rai from Patna and the killing of the labourer in Mumbai and urged him to take stern action to maintain law and order and provide security to the North Indians.

To a question why the Railway police failed to take action against the 'hooligans', Mr Prasad said it was duty of the state government to maintain law and order.

Lashing out at the BJP and NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani, Mr Lalu Prasad said the BJP as well as Mr Advani had not opened their mouths against the MNS or the Shiv Sena which was justifying the attacks on North-Indians.

Commenting on the repurcussions of the killing of the Patna-based youth and the Gorakhpur resident, the Railway Minister said he would not tolerate destruction of Railway properties by any one.

If such attacks on the Railway property continued in any state, he would be constrained to cancel trains passing through those states.

UNI KAS SP AKJ KP1900

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