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Posted at: Jul 28, 2015, 1:38 AM; last updated: Jul 28, 2015, 1:19 AM (IST)

Courageous railway trackman saves 270 lives

In line of duty

  • Ashwani Saini (42) spotted five bombs planted on a railway bridge around 6 am
  • He ran towards an approaching train waiving a red flag in his right hand
  • The train driver noticed him and applied brakes; the train came to a halt just 100 yards away from the bombs
Courageous railway trackman saves 270 lives

Bombs planted on the railway tracks by the terrorists. PTI

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Dinanagar, July 27

Trackman Ashwani Saini turned out to be the saviour for 270 passengers of the Amritsar-bound 54612 down passenger train that came to a grinding halt just 3 km away before Dinanagar.

The train, having seven bogeys, started its journey from Pathankot at 5.10 am and it came to a halt just 100 yards away from the bridge where five bombs (attached to sophisticated detonating devices) were planted on the track. The site where the explosives were planted is barely 2 km away from Dinanagar. Terrorists selected their target with care. They knew if the bombs went off while the train was passing over the bridge, not only the passengers will be affected, but the bridge will also be blown up, thereby throwing the rail traffic out of gear on the track.

Ashwani Saini (42), according to Dinanagar station master Gurdial Saini, was on duty checking the line from Dinanagar to Jhakholari. At 6 am, he spotted five bombs on the bridge. Saini did not get cold feet. Holding a red flag in his right hand, he started running towards the train.

Saini, an employee of the Engineering Department of the Ferozepur railway division, frantically waved the red flag while running towards the train. Luckily, the train driver noticed him and applied brakes. The train came to a halt just 100 yards away from the bombs.

Saini informed the station master, who then called up district administration officials. A bomb-disposal squad of the Army was pressed into service that rendered the bombs ineffective in around two hours. An engine was requisitioned from Pathankot to pull the train back to the city.

Dinanagar, Gurdaspur, Dhariwal and Batala railway stations were got vacated and search operations launched by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the police.

Gurdial Saini was all praise for the trackman. “A tragedy of insurmountable proportions has been averted due to the presence of mind exhibited by Ashwani Saini. The man showed immense character. We should salute him,” he said.

Recommendation for award

Divisional Railway Manager (Ferozepur) Anuj Prakash has recommended to the railway board to confer an individual award on trackman Ashwani Saini for his act 

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