OUR STAFF REPORTER/APP
QUETTA/CHAMAN - Unidentified persons Sunday fired on a passenger train in Qila Abdullah, damaging its locomotive and causing suspension of train service between Quetta and Chaman, no loss of life was, however, reported.According to police sources, the Quetta-bound passenger train was stopped on the railway track by protesting tribesmen after it had left Chaman Railway Station for Quetta. “Tens of hundreds of tribesmen blocked the road and the rail track linking the border town of Chaman to Quetta to protest against crimes, including highway robberies, car snatchings and kidnappings for ransom,” the police said.Some unidentified persons opened fire when the driver tried to reverse the train back to the Chaman Railway Station. As a result, the locomotive was damaged, but no loss of life was reported, the police added.Meanwhile, hundreds of vehicles, including Nato containers, were stranded in Qila Abdullah district of Balochistan on Sunday after transporters blocked Quetta-Chaman Highway to protest extortion and lawlessness on the highway.Due to the strike, passenger buses and Afghan transit and Nato supplies remained suspended as negotiations between the protesters and the district administration failed.It may be mentioned here that infuriated protesters on Saturday morning blocked Quetta-Chaman Highway while Goods Truck Owners Association blocked the highway in the Gadang area on Sunday by placing barricades. The outraged protesters also staged a sit-in on the railway track near Zadaband area, shouting slogans against extortion and lawlessness.Talking to The Nation, Abdul Ali Achakzai, an office bearer of Goods Transporters Association, said extortion and lawlessness had compelled them to block the highway. “We will continue our protest until our demands are accepted,” he said, adding the administration should take action against extortionists and the elements involved in spoiling the law and order of the district.When contacted, Qila Abdullah Deputy Commissioner Bashir Bangulzai conceded that demands of the transporters were genuine. “The government writ has weakened a little bit in the district, but it is due to inability of some officers,” he said, adding the commissioner had ordered suspension of the Qila Abdullah assistant commissioner. He said a committee had been formed under his supervision which would take action against extortionists and other antisocial elements behind spoiling the law and order situation.