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‘Mentally challenged’ youth attempts to derail trains

A youth, suspected to be ‘mentally challenged’ by the police, tried to derail trains by damaging a stretch of track between the Chingavanam and Kottayam sectors.

Train services on the Kottayam section of Thiruvananthapuram division was disrupted briefly after the youth, said to be an electronics graduate, allegedly made three attempts to derail trains last night between 10.30 PM and 4.30 AM.

The youth, Deepu K Thankappan from Poovanthuruth, is absconding after the incident, police said.

Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala said he has sought a report from police in Kottayam about the incident.

Both local police and railway police have ruled out any sabotage attempt by any extremist outfit.

In the first incident, he reportedly drover a bike for about two kilometers on the track and left it there just before the Malabar Express coming from Thiruvananthapuram reached Pakkil near Chingavanam, police said.

The train stopped after dragging the bike for about 700 to 800 meters, severely damaging it. It started its onward journey after the two wheeler was pulled out from under the wheels.

In the second incident, an attempt was made to derail the Amrutha Express by allegedly throwing iron rods, stones and old electronic items on the railway track near Channanikkad.

The train did not stop but the incident was reported to the railway authorities in Kottayam.

The third incident was reported from Poovanthuruth when the Vivek Express was passing through. The driver saw a mile stone placed on the track when it reached the town.

He reported the matter to authorities at the nearest railway station.

All trains on the route were stopped at nearby stations till authorities cleared the tracks, railway sources said.