Maoist violence national problem, says BJP after train tragedy

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Blaming Maoists for the train accident in West Bengal that killed 65 people, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday said violence by the guerrillas should be treated as a national problem.

Condemning the ‘unfortunate incident of attack on a train in West Bengal’, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said it was time the country debated whether Maoist violence was a central or state subject or a law and order problem as Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee pointed out.

At least 65 people were killed and over 200 injured in the accident that occurred between Sardiha and Khemasuly stations in West Midnapore district in West Bengal in the early hours of Friday.

‘I think it should be treated as a national problem and necessary action should be taken,’ Prasad told reporters here.

After visiting the accident site, Railway Minister Banerjee had said law and order is a state subject and the railways did not even have the power to file a First Information Report (FIR).

‘How many innocent lives can be lost in the name of Naxalism?’ Prasad said.

Former railway minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad condemned the incident saying, ‘It’s a big tragedy.’

‘Railways are a soft target…people forget that it is the lifeline of the country because people of all classes travel in it,’ he added.