At least 18 long-distance trains were cancelled from Jammu and Katra on Friday as tensions escalated in Punjab and Haryana in the aftermath of the CBI special court verdict on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
On Friday, the CBI special court in Panchkula, Haryana, held the Dera chief guilty in a rape case.
Jammu station manager Ashwani Kumar told Hindustan Times over phone that due to the law and order situation in Haryana and Punjab, Northern Railways decided to cancel 18 long-distance trains from Jammu and Katra.
“Twelve trains from Jammu and six trains from Katra were cancelled on Friday,” he said.
On an average, around 1,500 to 2,000 passengers travel in a passenger train from these two stations daily.
The station manager said the stranded passengers were being accommodated in waiting halls while some of them have checked into hotels and lodges.
“Food has been made available at affordable rates at the Jammu railway station. People can buy food items from the Janata Khana,” he said.
“The suspended trains will resume only when we get instructions from the higher authorities,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, many passengers were seen stranded at the Jammu railway station.
“We had come to pay obeisance at the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine and were about to return to Lucknow. However, the trains were cancelled due to the court verdict on the Dera chief. We have to spend another day in Jammu and hope that trains resume on Saturday,” said Shailendra Tiwari.
Meanwhile, Kathua deputy commissioner Ramesh Kumar and senior superintendent of police Suleman Choudhary said the administration was keeping an eye on Lakhanpur, the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir.