Kolkata, May 28 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the Railways is on red alert and there had been patrolling on the tracks just an hour before the Mumbai-bound Gyanendra Express was hit by a goods train.
Speaking to media, Banerjee said an alert had been called as the Maoists had declared May 28, 29, 30, 31 as Black Days.
"We couldn't have stopped running trains, it's the lifeline of the nation. Patrolling was done an hour ago. The Maoists are very particular about the timing. They are adjusting it according to patrol time. The timing was crucial," Banerjee said.
However, she refused to go into the law and order issue, saying it was a state subject.
Banerjee is at the spot to assess the situation arising out of the incident.
So far, the death toll has been pegged at 65 and over 150 injured after 13 bogies of Mumbai bound Howrah-Kurla Lokmanya Tilak Gyaneshwari Super Deluxe Express train derailed.
Railway officials claim the accident took place after suspected Maoists triggered off several blasts on the railway route.
The train was passing between the Khemasoli and Sardiya stations, over 135 kilometres from Kolkata, at the time of the mishap.
Banerjee said the accident was caused by a blast, but there is still some confusion over the exact reason for the incident.
Reportedly, a section of the West Bengal Police opine that the incident could have happened because the fishplates were removed.
Banerjee has announced Rs five lakh as compensation for those dead and Rs two lakh for those injured.
She also said one family member of those who had died would get employment.
Banerjee repeatedly added that this in no way could compensate for the lives lost. (ANI)