Excitement, Fear Mark Commercial Train Service Launch In J&K

12 October 2008
The Hindu

Srinagar: It was an eventful first day for the commercial operation of the train service in Kashmir Valley which was filled with excitement and fears of a militant attack, delaying the train for nearly half-an-hour at a station. Several people were seen jostling with each other to board the train, which was overbooked. Authorities later said they will refund unused ticket fares. Amid the excitement, a hoax call of a militant attack delayed the train for nearly half-an-hour at Pampore in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said here. The train was halted at Pampore station around 3.10 pm after an unidentified person called the station manager of Panzgam, the next stop, saying that the train would be attacked by militants, the officials said. Passengers of the jam-packed train panicked even as police and security forces went around sanitising the track right up to last destination in Anantnag district, they said, adding that the threat later turned out to be hoax and the service was resumed later. Barring the hoax call, the train service inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh became an instant hit, forcing the railway authorities to refund the tickets of those who could not board the train due to heavy rush. 'We will refund tickets of all those passengers who have not been able to make the journey from Srinagar to Anantnag due to the paucity of seats on the train,' a railway official at Srinagar railway station told